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East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
Corporate and commercial: Cambridge - ranked: tier 2


Hewitsons has a long-established reputation for M&A, corporate finance, private equity, investment and capital markets transactions. It has a broad client base with particular expertise in the technology, charities and education, healthcare, sport and energy sectors. Practice heads James Lawrence and Andrew Priest and key partner Bill Thatcher in Cambridge have a particular focus on the technology sector, in which they frequently handle acquisitions, venture capital investments, MBOs and MBIs. Newly promoted partner Laurence Evans has a strong practice in partnerships and LLPs, particularly for the firm's agricultural client base.

Practice head(s):James Lawrence; Andrew Priest

Other key lawyers:Bill Thatcher; Laurence Evans; Charlotte Bull


"The level of subject matter expertise, business sense, responsiveness, and cost-effectiveness is unmatched in my experience with law firms around the globe."

"I would like to call out Bill Thatcher as an absolutely outstanding asset to our business. His responsiveness, commercial expertise, and value is truly remarkable. It has been a true privilege to work with him over the years."

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

"Great communication, reasonable fees, good value for the money."

"I particularly liked the approach of Hewitsons in that we worked with the same lawyer from initial discussions and quotation through to completion of the sale. This meant there was good continuity throughout the project."

"The practice was very accommodating of a change of direction that occurred mid-way through the sale and also the complications of dealing with a foreign buyer."

"We worked predominantly with Laurence Evans on the sale of our business. He understood the business, our objectives and helped to negotiate a successful outcome."

"I found Laurence Evans to be professional and very easy to work with. He was also very fast at turning around questions we raised and amendments to the contract."

"I would have no hesitation in recommending both Laurence Evans and Hewitsons in general."

"Hewitsons offers a broad spectrum of specialist support for whatever commercial issues you face."

"Bill Thatcher has proved to be a formidable ally to have onside during tricky commercial negotiations. His ability to make the complex seem simple, and to make arguments which are hard to dispute, is uncanny."

"Bill Thatcher has an amazing ability to deeply understand our business, despite it being extremely specialised. All in all he is an invaluable part of our team and one we could not recommend highly enough."

"Excellent all round abilities, with very solid associates and good access to partner expertise."

"James Lawrence has a first rate legal mind, and his advice is always succinct and completely on the point."

Key Clients

Quartix Holdings Plc (listed)

Homes England

KisanHub (UK and India)

Nuformix Plc (listed)

VKR Group (owner of Velux brand with HQ in Denmark)

Cryptomathic Group (HQ in Denmark)

Spirol Group, Inc (HQ in USA)

Amino Technologies Plc (listed)

Scientific Molding Corporation Ltd

Hill Residential Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted in the £16m private equity backed management buy-out of Hanmere Polythene, a Hertfordshire-based manufacturer of recyclable packaging products.
  • Acted on the acquisition by German private equity fund BID Equity of Cambridge-based eSight Energy Group Limited, a provider of energy use intelligence.
  • Acted in the acquisition by OpenView of the analogue maintenance business of Careline UK Monitoring Limited (t/a Appello).

  • Acted on the £2.4m sale of Guardian Water Treatment Limited and GPCS Limited, to AIM listed Marlowe Plc.
  • Acted on the sale of the sale of 100% of shares in the target company to a private purchaser.
Leading individuals

James Lawrence - Hewitsons

Next Generation Partners

Laurence Evans - Hewitsons

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East Anglia: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Cambridge
Commercial litigation: Cambridge - ranked: tier 2


Hewitsons has a diverse commercial litigation practice in which the key lawyers have developed expertise in specialist areas of law. Lead partner Simon Biggin has been at the firm for nearly 30 years and is highly regarded for contract, product liability and software development disputes, as well as warranty claims, shareholder disputes and judicial review cases. Rising star associate Stewart Morrison has a particular focus on public procurement disputes, EU regulatory matters and public law work. IP specialist Mark Elmslie and real estate litigation partner Natalie Minott also act in general contract disputes.

Practice head(s):Simon Biggin

Other key lawyers:Lorna Carter; Mark Elmslie; Natalie Minott; Stewart Morrison; Kate Church

Key Clients

Stody Estate Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Stody Estate Limited in a judicial review of a decision relating to a substantial penalty imposed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in which the firm successfully obtained a quashing order for the client.
Leading individuals

Simon Biggin - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Stewart Morrison - Hewitsons

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East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3


The finance practice at Hewitsons is led from Northampton by Neil Harpham but the firm's Cambridge office has corporate, agricultural and real estate partners who handle high-value financings for their clients. James Lawrence handles corporate and acquisition finance, Deborah Sharples handles agricultural finance, James Simpson focuses on real estate finance, and Tim Middleton advises on residential property finance. Much of the firm's work centres on secured lending and bank funding in the education and charity sectors.

Other key lawyers:James Lawrence; James Simpson; Deborah Sharples; Denise Wilkinson; Tim Middleton

Key Clients

Homes England

Lloyds Bank plc

AIB (UK) plc

Clydesdale Bank

The Agricultural

Mortgage Corporation plc

Svenska Handelsbanken ab (publ)

Work highlights

  • Hewitsons acted on the acquisition by Harvard Bioscience, Inc of the Data Sciences International, Inc for an aggregate consideration of US$70m and the associated financing.
  • Acting for agricultural landowner in relation to the sale of development land pursuant to a promotion agreement, and in particular, advising in relation to the payment arrangements of our client.
  • Hewitsons acted for the funder in the acquisition of 75% of shares in an established architectural business by an Employee Ownership Trust.
  • Hewitsons acted for the College in relation to a new loan facility.

  • Hewitsons acted for a regional investment and property development group in its acquisition of a £5m plus investment property in Cambridge city centre and the associated financing.

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East Anglia: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 2


The employment practice at Hewitsons, which is led from the firm's Northampton office, has a strong presence in Cambridge through experienced partners Valerie Lambert and Elizabeth Swinburn. The team increased its capacity in 2018 with the internal transfer of solicitor James Makin from its commercial practice group, in order to handle a growing workload of High Court litigation, business reorganisation, Employment Tribunals, TUPE transfers, disciplinary matters and support for M&A transactions. The practice increasingly handles cases with cross-border elements.

Other key lawyers:Valerie Lambert; Elizabeth Swinburn; James Makin


"Elizabeth Swinburn and James Makin make a great employment law team who, we feel reassured, are always looking out for us, and minimising any risks involved with matters of employment law."

"Always prompt in responding to queries, calm and unflappable and not fazed by our lack of knowledge in this area."


Key Clients

AMD Environmental Limited

Openview Group Plc

The New West Port Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided crucial assistance in handling a personal data breach for an independent school.
  • Provided a range of services to assist a leading house-builder in working towards compliance with data protection legislation.
  • Provided training days and wider assistance with data protection matters to a UK subsidiary of an international manufacturer.
  • Represented client A against client B in a dispute concerning restrictive covenants within an asset purchase agreement and ancillary disputes concerning transferred employees and breaches of their restrictive covenants and confidential information.
  • Represented client A in its acquisition of company B with Valerie Lambert advising on the transfer of employees under TUPE.
Leading individuals

Valerie Lambert - Hewitsons

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Pensions - ranked: tier 2


Head of pensions Christopher Nuttall at Hewitsons works mainly from Northampton but regularly attends the Cambridge office to advise the firm's key clients. The firm acts for employers and trustees of private sector occupational pension schemes throughout the UK and across a wide range of business sectors. It has significant experience in public sector pensions, particularly involving the local government, healthcare and education sectors.

Practice head(s):Christopher Nuttall


"Chris Nuttall  delivers comprehensive advice in a timely manner and strives to deliver a meaningful and helpful service."

Key Clients

Perrys Group Limited

Trustees of the Superior Pension Fund (Greenery UK Limited)

Trustees of the Velux Co. Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme

Permastore Limited

Biochrom Limited

Trustees of the Jacques Vert Limited Pension Scheme

United Learning Trust

Trustees of the Sortex Final Salary Scheme (Buhler Sortex Limited)

Visit Cambridge & Beyond

Trustees of the AT Oliver & Sons Ltd Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised Perrys Motor Sales Limited on all pension aspects of the sale to the Snows Motor Group of Fiat, Mazda and Peugeot dealership in Portsmouth.
  • Negotiating parent company support to underpin the sponsoring employer’s obligations.
  • Advising Trustees of the Velux Co. Ltd Retirement Benefits Scheme on the obligations under the new data protection regime provided by the general data protection regulation (GDPR).
  • Advice to Visit Cambridge & Beyond on the use of and drafting cost and risk sharing mechanisms in relation to pensions.
  • Advising Trustees of the Jacques Vert Pension Scheme on and negotiating the securing of benefits in excess of Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levels following the sponsoring employer suffering an insolvency event.

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East Anglia: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1


One client recommends Hewitsons for its 'breath of knowledge and ability to provide the right person with the correct skill set for the task in hand'. The firm has a large cross-office team led from Cambridge by the 'extremely trustworthy' Denise Wilkinson , who handles complex property and family issues in the rural sector, whether for smaller farmers, landed estates or major institutions. Legal director James Frankland and consultant Charles Hewitson also have excellent reputations for handling agricultural property transactions.

Practice head(s):Denise Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:Charles Hewitson; James Frankland


"Charles Hewitson is involved at all levels on a personal and business level. He is an excellent leader and ambassador for the firm."

"Denise Wilkinson exhibits great knowledge and attention to detail."

"I work regularly with Denise Wilkinson who is exceptional in every way."

"Hewitsons has high professional standards. They are well informed, cover all of our necessary disciplines and cover them well. They are always available at short notice when required."

Denise Wilkinson specifically gives advice on charity issues; agricultural and commercial. Her great strength is to be able to see an issue from all angles, thinking on her feet. She has experience in contractual arrangement that are not conventional, and always give very sound advice."

"A dynamic yet pragmatic approach to getting the job done."

"Denise Wilkinson provides excellent advice on a range of property matters in a concise and clear way which is readily understood."

Key Clients

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The Philpot Family and Associated Companies

National Farmers Union (NFU)

Work highlights

  • Advising on the sale and purchase of a large farm plus equine business and attendant issues.
  • Sale of large landholdings following the death of the owner.
  • Advising two landowning charities entering into an option re renewables.
  • Renegotiation of cross overages and inter-family corporate landownership.
  • Advice regarding unusual ownership structures and the effect of owning only an equitable share of a 3,000 acre Estate.
Leading individuals

Denise Wilkinson - Hewitsons

Rising stars

James Frankland - Hewitsons

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2


The charities and education practice at Hewitsons is led from Northampton but calls upon the agriculture, property and planning teams in Cambridge to act for a host of regional and national charities. Rural property and agricultural law expert Denise Wilkinson plays a key role in the practice, as does real estate and finance partner James Simpson. The firm counts several education institutions such as the University of Cambridge and numerous national charities among its clients.

Other key lawyers:James Simpson; Gemma Dudley; Denise Wilkinson; Susanne Hinde; Sarah Baron; Colin Jones


"This practice goes the extra mile to meet deadlines, more than other firms."

"They are always very pleasant and able even when under extreme pressure."

"Susanne Hinde is particularly good and ensures a clear and rapid response of all of the team members."

"Hewitsons has the personalised approach of a local firm, which belies the great strength and depth that its team brings to the advice that they are able to offer us as a school across a wide range of issues including education, charity law, employment law and land matters. They provide excellent support to us in a very timely manner."

"Colin Jones is exceptional, taking a keen interest in our school and supporting wherever possible. He involves specialist colleagues at the appropriate times to ensure that we receive the best service."

"James Simpson has been invaluable in dealing with recent land matters, steering us around potential pitfalls."

"Very responsive with a lot of senior expertise."

"Liz Davies is an exception mix of a private client solicitor with commercial legal experience which is ideal for high-net-worth individuals."

Key Clients

University of Cambridge


Julia Norris Trust

Autism Anglia

Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

YMCA Trinity Group

Stephen Perse Foundation

The Varrier-Jones Foundation

The Papworth Trust

Wood Green Animal Shelters

The Ann Howsden Charity

Max Perutz Fund

Ward’s Charity or The Church Lands

Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

HertsCam Network

Conservators of the River Cam

The Thoroughbred Breeders Association

Girton Town Charity

Work highlights

  • Advised YMCA Cambridge & Peterborough on their merger with YMCA Suffolk, to become YMCA Trinity, one of the most significant charities in the East of England.
  • Advising Max Perutz Fund as to their governance, compliance and grant making.
  • Advising Ward’s Charity or The Church Lands on conversion from an unincorporated trust to a charitable incorporated organisation and on the sale of a valuable piece of land in order to generate funds in the best interests of its beneficiaries.
  • Advising The Papworth Trust on governance matters and trustees training.
  • Acted for The Stephen Perse Foundation in the acquisition of Cambridge Centre for Sixth Form Studies, a well-known Cambridge school.
Leading individuals

Denise Wilkinson - Hewitsons

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


Hewitsons is 'a very well-established private client firm, and a leading regional firm, particularly for the resolution of trusts and probate disputes'. Practice head Lucinda Brown is a full member of ACTAPS and solicitor Kate Harris is an associate member. They frequently handle high-value cases involving the validity of wills, breach of trust claims, Inheritance Act claims, rectification of wills and trust documents, contentious Court of Protection matters and financial abuse of vulnerable adults. The firm's strong private client, charity and agriculture practices are also brought to bear on contentious matters for high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):Lucinda Brown

Other key lawyers:Kate Harris


'Lucinda Brown is an extremely able lawyer and has a level of expertise and the sort of sound judgement one would expect to find in someone far more senior.'

'Kate Harris is outstanding.'

Work highlights

  • Representing a client as life tenant of a trust in their challenge to the exercise of trustees’ proposed appointment of shares in a farm business which are settled in trust.
  • Acting for a high-net-worth individual resident in Malaysia in her claim for reasonable financial provision from her late husband’s estate.
  • Acting for a widow in her claim for rectification of her late husband’s will.
  • Acting for a charity in its claim for removal of the executor of an estate of which the charity is one of four residuary beneficiaries, and also in a potential breach of trust claim.
  • Acting for a trustee of a family settlement in her defence to a claim for breach of trust.
Leading individuals

Lucinda Brown - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Kate Harris - Hewitsons

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


Hewitsons has a highly experienced practice for estate planning, complex wills and powers of attorney, trust administration and reorganisation, the administration of high-value estates, and advice on foreign assets. The firm's strong rural practice sees it handle the affairs of many clients in the farming industry, as well as large landed estates. Practice head Daniel Curtis and key partners Bernadette O’Reilly and Elizabeth Davies are all leading lights in the market, and associate Kelly Wardell is a rising star. The firm's clients include a number of estates with a net worth in excess of £100m.

Practice head(s):Daniel Curtis

Other key lawyers:Bernadette O'Reilly; Elizabeth Davies; Kelly Wardell; Katherine Hague


'Friendly, approachable and professional.'

'Bernadette O'Reilly knows her subject and explains things so they are easy to understand.'

'The practice offers a broad range of skills and expertise - together with a "can-do" attitude and a supportive outlook.'

'The firm is responsive and offers a good range of skills and expertise within the landed estates and farming sector.'

"Hewistons is a good firm - they are specialists in what they do - and they deliver a good, reliable service."

"The firm has a client-focused approach. It explains legal issues in a way that makes sense to the client and has a good understanding of the emotions that clients are feeling when discussing family circumstances and challenges."

"Bernadette O'Reilly is particularly empathetic with clients dealing with emotional circumstances."

"All members of Hewitsons have been unfailingly professional and helpful."

"Katherine Hague has been consistently thorough, organised, helpful and knowledgeable. At a difficult time for our family, she has been sensitive and professional in all of our interactions. She has great communication skills, along with a relaxed manner, and we could not give her a higher recommendation."

"An exceptionally dedicated team with good clear communication between specialists and excellent clear responses, advice and billing."

"A good clear legal and human response combined with unwavering legal expertise."

"The solicitors were efficient, responded quickly, knew their stuff, and were practical. I would enthusiastically Elizabeth Davies for private trust and probate work."

Leading individuals

Bernadette O'Reilly - Hewitsons

Daniel Curtis - Hewitsons

Elizabeth Davies - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Kelly Wardell - Hewitsons

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East Anglia: Public sector

Education - ranked: tier 2


Hewitsons has a diverse range of clients that includes schools and FE and HE colleges. Head of the charities and education practice Chris Knight now works predominantly from the Northampton office but spends time in Cambridge to advise the firm's university, school and college clients. The firm's services include charity law and governance, data protection advice, dispute resolution, employment, environmental law, pupil issues and M&A. James Simpson and Susanne Hinde frequently work on property matters for clients in the education sector, while Andrew Priest handles commercial matters.

Practice head(s):Chris Knight

Other key lawyers:Susanne Hinde; James Simpson; Andrew Priest


"The particular knowledge of our trust since becoming a foundation school through to a multi-academy trust makes their relationship with us unique. With their specialist education knowledge we find Hewitsons to be an invaluable part of our team."

"Their strengths, in particular regarding our sometimes quirky approach to running a trust, we find to be very useful. It is this that makes them stand out in our view against others."

"The firm provides excellent partner expertise at highly competitive rates."

Key Clients

University of Cambridge

The Colleges in the University of Cambridge (31 in number)

Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board

Stephen Perse Foundation

Morris Education Trust

Bush & Bennett charity

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Culford School

Kimbolton School

Sancton Wood School

City of Cambridge Education Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised the Stephen Perse Foundation in respect of its acquisition of Cambridge Centre for Sixth-Form Studies.
  • Advising the not-for-profit Open Innovation Bioscience Park in relation to all lettings in the Incubator and Accelerator Buildings as well as various licences to occupy, licence for alterations and wayleave agreements.
  • Advising on a strategic £9m site purchase for Pembroke College, Cambridge.
  • Review and modernising the articles of association of a school foundation and preparation of application for Charity Commission consent for regulated alterations.
  • Advice on a charity’s powers relating to a school development.

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East Anglia: Real estate

Commercial property: Cambridge
Commercial property: Cambridge - ranked: tier 2


Hewitsons frequently handles large and complex projects, particularly in the leisure and residential sectors. It also advises technology and biotechnology companies on matters such as science park lettings, and has significant expertise in strategic land deals. Practice head James Simpson has a strong reputation for complex development and strategic land transactions and Graeme Sampson handles complex mixed-use development projects for developers, landowners and institutions. Both are supported by rising star senior associate Ceri Riddell. Partner Susanne Hinde manages a separate team that handles landlord and tenant and investment matters.

Practice head(s):James Simpson

Other key lawyers:Graeme Sampson; Susanne Hinde; Ceri Riddell

Key Clients

Homes England

The Howard Group

Hill Residential Limited

Turnstone Estates Group

The Chesterford Group

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Swiss Laundry Ltd

Anglian Country Inns

HTS Estates Limited

Lloyds Bank Plc


Work highlights

  • Acted for Hill Residential Limited in their complex joint venture arrangements with Marshall Group relating to the delivery of infrastructure and 500 homes on the first phase of a £22m development at the Wing Development, a landmark development of up to 1,300 homes for the city of Cambridge.
  • Continuing to act for Hill Residential in connection with a number of flagship transactions at the University of Cambridge’s North-West Cambridge development site.
  • Acted for the landowners on the £30m sale of the first phase, comprising approximately 900 houses, of a  site for which planning has been obtained for a residential development of approximately 2,500 units together with primary schools, local centres (including retail and employment uses), open space and landscaping.
  • Acting on a planned programme of disposals of over half a dozen properties together with the subsequent acquisition (and related funding) of several properties.
  • Continuing to advise ambitious not for profit Open Innovation Bioscience Park in relation to all lettings in the Incubator and Accelerator Buildings as well as various licences to occupy, licence for alterations (sometimes affecting common infrastructure) and wayleave agreement (Code Agreement); instructions in relation to the expansion of the park are imminent.
Leading individuals

Graeme Sampson - Hewitsons

James Simpson - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Ceri Riddell - Hewitsons

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Construction - ranked: tier 2


Hewitsons has a highly experienced construction group that works across its London, Milton Keynes and Cambridge offices. In Cambridge, managing partner Colin Jones is the standout practitioner who frequently handles complex and high-value matters for developers, contractors, design and construction professionals, construction product manufacturers, funders and occupiers. He is supported by solicitor Sardeep Gill who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm has a long-standing reputation for work on UK-wide construction projects, and its recent work includes projects for Oxbridge colleges and Homes England.

Other key lawyers:Colin Jones; Sardeep Gill

Key Clients

SKAKO Concrete A/S

British Institute of Interior Design

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Apprise Property Limited

The Howard Group


Homes England

City & Country Group PLC

The Injured Jockey’s Fund

Work highlights

  • The firm was instructed by a Scandinavian manufacturer on a multimillion-pound cross-jurisdictional  development project involving a concrete production plant facility in central London.
  • The firm recently advised RSPB on the multimillion-pound development of solar energy installations at 14 of its UK sites including the preparation of a bespoke framework agreement for negotiation with selected suppliers.
  • The firm advised Apprise Property Limited in drafting and negotiating the construction documentation for a development which will facilitate the supply of a required increase in residential housing within the  St Albans region.
  • Engaged in advising on the appointments of a £6m state-of-the-art rehabilitation and fitness centre.
  • Recently acted for one of Kent’s most prominent contractors on a public procurement dispute against a contracting authority in relation to a tender outcome.
Leading individuals

Colin Jones - Hewitsons

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Environment & planning
Environment & planning - ranked: tier 1


Hewitsons in Cambridge handles large-scale development projects, including residential and mixed-use urban expansions, and acts for Homes England in substantial regeneration projects. The firm regularly undertakes work in connection with judicial reviews and other legal challenges in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal, and it undertakes its own advocacy at public inquiries, hearings and in Magistrates Courts. Leading light Deborah Sharples is the key partner and has a large client base of landowners, farmers, investment owners and landed estates across the UK. Associate Gemma Dudley has more than 15 years' experience in planning and compulsory purchase matters.

Practice head(s):Deborah Sharples

Other key lawyers:Gemma Dudley; Emma Bowman


"Hewitsons is an impressive practice - client-focused, efficient and effective. The firm punches well above its weight."

"Deborah Sharples is a pleasure to work with - quick to respond, diligent, reliable and meticulous in her attention to detail."

"The firm is excellent all round. The work is always to a very high standard and within deadlines. The lawyers understand developers' needs and perspective and give well researched, practical, clear and insightful legal advice."

"Excellent value for money - market-leading advice without market-leading rates."

"Excellent in-depth knowledge of planning law and practice from a highly commercial firm."

"Fantastic value for money - the firm provides first-class advice at a fraction of the cost of London and bigger firms."

"Gemma Dudley provides excellent advice on all matters. She is an exceptional planning lawyer with impressive knowledge of legislation, case law and its implications."

"Clear, thoughtful advice which delivers practical solutions to often complex issues. The advice is always presented logically and clearly."

"Gemma Dudley is quick to grasp the issues and always sees the bigger picture. First-class and always first choice. The best planning advice in Cambridge."

"Emma Bowman is very bright and capable and is flourishing under Gemma Dudley's guidance."

"My experiences of Hewitsons is of an engaging and welcoming law firm that is always happy to assist. The planning team is highly professional and consistently provides prompt and well-considered advice. The advice provided is rarely ambiguous."

"Gemma Dudley and Deborah Sharples are highly competent and, of equal importance, friendly and approachable."

"Gemma Dudley has established working experience and relationships with equivalent local authority practitioners and the value of this cannot be under estimated when seeking to expedite a legal agreement with such parties."

"The firm provides a very high level of client care and great attention to detail."

"Deborah Sharples is friendly and a good team player with high professional standards and in-depth knowledge."

"The practice has a broad yet comprehensive range of expertise, and I appreciate Deborah Sharples' dedication and commitment, communicating openly and honestly and working in partnership with the client."

Key Clients

Homes England

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

The Greensand Trust

Andersons Assets Ltd

Beyond Storage Leicester Limited

Dene Homes Ltd

Duxford Developments Ltd

Girton College, Cambridge

Downing College, Cambridge

Pembroke College, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam College Cambridge

Henry Fairley and Sons Limited

JCAM Commercial Real Estate Property VII Limited

Gibson Developments Ltd

Great Oakley Farms Ltd

Galliers Homes Limited

Campbell Melhuish and Buchanan Ltd

James Davenport

Bedstone Growers

Bedfordia Farms Limited

GCR Camprop Eight Ltd

Hill Residential Limited

Howard Group Limited

Oastlodge Limited

Arndale Properties Limited

Flogas Britain Limited

Foster Property Developments Limited

Hay Farms Ltd

Work highlights

  • General advice in relation to the proposed multimillion-pound development of a former military site for housing led mixed-use and ecological mitigation.
  • Negotiation of Section 106 Agreement for a multimillion-pound development of 527 houses in the green belt.
  • Successfully acting as advocate at the public inquiry in relation to a planning application for 30 houses & negotiation of s106 Agreement.
  • Drafting and negotiating a s106 Agreement for a development of 227 dwellings in Wisbech.
  • Advising and representing a poultry farmer who was served with an abatement notice alleging a fly nuisance from his poultry houses.
Leading individuals

Deborah Sharples - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Gemma Dudley - Hewitsons

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1


Hewitsons in Cambridge has 'a very strong regional team providing London quality work without having to pay for the overheads of a City firm'. One client notes that practice head Natalie Minott 'has City grade experience and skills'. The firm handles both commercial and residential property disputes, including matters for high-net-worth individuals, corporates and rural landowners. In 2018, the firm saw a growing caseload disputes arising from leasehold enfranchisement, collective enfranchisement and the right of first refusal, and in work for corporate clients relating to the Landlord and Tenant 1954 Act. Kate Church and Kate Harris are noted as Rising Stars.

Practice head(s):Natalie Minott

Other key lawyers:Kate Harris; Kate Church; Barbara Judkins


"Natalie Minott is the stand out individual at the firm in this area. As well as possessing great legal skills, she is exceptionally good with difficult clients."

"The firm has broad and deep experience of all types of real estate litigation. It is proactive and responsive."

"Natalie Minott has excellent client handling skills, and is very collaborative and firm in her views."

"The technical legal knowledge seems second to none and is allied with the knowhow to maximise this expertise to the client's benefit."

"Barbara Judkins was very professional, efficient and thorough in acting for us. She took particular care in understanding the detail of our case. Refreshingly these days, she was ready to recommend a course of action to us and to set out all the matters that required our consideration."

"Barbara Judkins proved invaluable in fighting my corner for me in a very personable and effective style."

Key Clients

Homes England


Fish ‘n’chick’n

Work highlights

  • Further advising charities on pre-emption rights, construction of price mechanism and restrictive covenants; matter includes consideration of  terms of agreement as to property vesting in the NHS and retained by the charities  under the National Health Service (Apportionment and Transfer) Regulations 1948 and construction issues arising.
  • Three way dispute regarding the management of a residential ManCo.
  • Complex 1954 Act dispute at a high value London property, acting for the Landlord.
  • Right of way dispute reliant upon an unseen 1865 Deed of grant.
  • Adverse possession claim concerning an area of land over which client had obtained planning permission and within client's physical possession registered to neighbour.
Leading individuals

Natalie Minott - Hewitsons

Rising stars

Kate Church - Hewitsons

Kate Harris - Hewitsons

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East Anglia: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2


The IT practice at Hewitsons acts for suppliers to and purchasers of IT services across a broad range of IT businesses, advises on on EU Framework Programme contracts in IT fields, handles data protection compliance issues and data security breaches for IT and technology companies, and deals with matters of software development, licensing, distribution and support. It also has niche expertise in IT and business process outsourcing. Practice head Andrew Priest handles IT outsourcings and technology licensing deals in the public and private sector, and consultant Bill Thatcher has nearly 30 years' experience in IP and IT transactions.

Practice head(s):Andrew Priest

Other key lawyers:Bill Thatcher

Work highlights

  • The firmadvised on a complex software-as-a-service (SaaS) agreement with a very large and very well-known customer in the global drinks market.
Leading individuals

Andrew Priest - Hewitsons

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2


Hewitsons acts for clients ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, including well-known brands and Cambridge colleges, in IP licensing, development contracts and contentious matters. Clients praise 'the breadth of IP knowledge from accessible partners at keen rates'. Practice head Andrew Priest handles IT, outsourcing, technology transfer and general commercial contracts, while key partner Mark Elmslie's work for national and international clients includes research and development arrangements and technology licensing contracts.

Practice head(s):Andrew Priest

Other key lawyers:Mark Elmslie; Bill Thatcher; Tania Saigol; Carole Mahoney


"In intellectual property matters the expertise available via the team is second to none."

"Mark Elmslie has a unique knowledge of the regulatory framework established by IPReg, the regulator for the IP profession. He is calm and measured in his advice."

"Andrew Priest is a really valuable addition to the firm's IP expertise, with deep industry understanding and a sharp legal mind."

Work highlights

  • We are acting for a soft drinks brand, active in a number of markets outside the UK, in a trade mark dispute involving multiple proceeding in the EU and UK trade mark registries and a UK passing off and trade mark dispute.
  • We are acting for a UK company in complex patent litigation involving a claim for infringement of a patent in the field of engineering, against our client and others by an EU company alleging patent infringement, the claim is complicated by the fact that proceedings have been brought against multiple parties involved in producing, selling and using the patented product .
Leading individuals

Bill Thatcher - Hewitsons

Mark Elmslie - Hewitsons

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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