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West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

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

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons has a track record of experience of advising on acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, restructuring, private equity and compliance. Nick Taylor, who leads the team, has expertise in M&A and joint ventures. Other key figures on the corporate side include Richard Griffiths and Adrian Cutler, while Paul Hunt focuses on commercial matters.

Practice head(s):Nick Taylor 

Other key lawyers:Richard Griffiths; Adrian Cutler; Paul Hunt

Leading individuals

Nick Taylor - Higgs & Sons

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

Higgs & Sons

Susheel Gupta heads the team at Higgs & Sons, which focuses on tax planning advice and employee incentive schemes. He is particularly known for representing shareholders on the taxation elements of transactions.

Practice head(s):Susheel Gupta

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

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

Higgs & Sons

Julia Lowe is the key point of contact in Higgs & Sons' Brierley Hill practice. Her areas of expertise within this space include shareholder and partnership disputes, product liability matters and injunctive relief orders.

Practice head(s):Julia Lowe

Leading individuals

Julia Lowe - Higgs & Sons

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West Midlands: Finance

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

Higgs & Sons

At Higgs & Sons, the insolvency and business recovery team led by David Ellis handles regional insolvencies for liquidators and creditors as well as for the insolvent companies themselves, and also assists clients with transactional matters. Handling personal bankruptcies for the debtors is another area of expertise.

Practice head(s):David Ellis

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment - ranked: tier 3

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons is best known for its work with SMEs, owner managed businesses and their families in the West Midlands. The team has extensive experience in the transport, manufacturing, technical, retail and food/drink sectors. In addition, the group regularly works with its corporate team on key matters such as business restructurings and reorganisations. Its employment tribunal practice is well established. Tim Jones heads up the department.

Practice head(s):Tim Jones

Other key lawyers:Debra Cottam; Joanne Walker; Simon Bond; Amy Brokenshire


'It has a culture of excellence which is apparent in its service, recruitment and retention of staff'.

'Excellent team that tackles matters with a pragmatic "can do" approach. The advice is always of the highest standard, and we are in safe hands'.

'It has a keen customer focus and an understanding of deadlines and time critical situations'.

'Tim Jones is very sensible as well as being technically very good'.

'Tim Jones is exceptionally knowledgeable and delivers excellent advice'.

'Tim Jones  has a relaxed and confident manner and has the ability to exercise both professional charm and gravitas in equal measure to get results'.

'Tim Jones kept the focus on the main issues in hand only and steered the case to a successful outcome'.

Debra Cottam , Joanne Walker  and Simon Bond  always excel in meetings and exceed client expectations'.

'Simon Bond provides very strong support and quick responses'.

'Amy Brokenshire is very, very bright'.

Work highlights

  • Advised Deepdale Engineering on a major review of its employment contract and handbook.
  • Handling a variety of employment issues for Clarkson Wayman Ball, including advising on negotiations that led to settlement agreements on a number of matters and more recently, advising on a  breach of restrictive covenant issue.
  • Advising Aquapak Polymers on the exit of a senior executive/director of the company.
  • Advised Synergy Biologics on Tribunal proceedings in which the claimant claimed unfair dismissal and race discrimination.
  • Acted for the former CEO of Compton Fundraising Ltd in a claim of unfair dismissal.
Leading individuals

Tim Jones - Higgs & Sons

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West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant
Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 2

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons is recognised for its expertise in handling serious birth injury claims. Clare Langford is widely respected for her experience in cerebral palsy claims and Erb’s palsy, while Liz Hickman  excels in cases involving delayed diagnoses of cancer, as well as tetraplegia and birth injury matters. Other areas of expertise include matters where there has been a misdiagnosis, wrongful prescription of medication and cases involving lack of consent.

Practice head(s):Clare Langford; Liz Hickman

Other key lawyers:Sue Allen


'This is a very efficient and client focussed practice that does a very professional job'.

'Provides an excellent personal service to clients in a difficult area of work'.

'The team is  professional whilst maintaining a friendly and caring practice that is responsive and attentive to clients' needs'.

'Has a very experienced team that despite its prominence and presence in the market, retains a personal touch which it of great value to lay clients'.

'Sue Allen, Clare Langford, Liz Hickman are very approachable which is important when you are working with complex clients and families'.

'Clare Langford is extremely thorough. Provides personal attention to her clients. Approachable'.

'Sue Allen is an extremely experienced and well known clinical negligence practitioner who is respected by peers and (importantly) opponents'.

'Liz Hickman is another highly experienced and well known practitioner who is not afraid to take on challenging cases and get results from them'.

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

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons has a dedicated team, which advises on catastrophic injuries, as well as injuries at work and road traffic accidents. It also advises on industrial diseases caused by asbestos, noise, vibrating equipment and chemicals. In addition, the group advises on injuries suffered while abroad. Andy Shaw, who heads up the team, has a particular focus on head injuries and fatal accidents.

Practice head(s):Andy Shaw

Other key lawyers:Claire Burnell; Steven Santy


'What sets the team apart is its client care and attention to detail. The team leaves no stone unturned and isn't not afraid to take on difficult cases'.

'It is a strong team, with a high proportion of experienced practitioners who provide an outstanding level of service to their clients. They focus on rehab and have a collaborative working style, this is what marks the team out'.

'It is  the foremost medium-sized claimant personal Injury specialist solicitors in the West Midlands'.

'Andy Shaw is a great lawyer and tactician. He has a fantastic manner with clients and is able to see the 'wood for the trees' and thus able to address the real issues in a case and guide clients to them. He is a tough negotiator who is not afraid to push points to trial'.

'Andy Shaw is down to earth, dynamic and pragmatic with realistic expectations from his cases'.

'Andy Shaw always has a great command of his claims and has a meticulous approach to case preparation. He is a very shrewd negotiator'.

'Steven Santy is tireless and is always working to find the game changing point in the case. He is brilliant with his clients who clearly value and like him and is able to express complicated principles of law clearly and succinctly'.

'Steven Santy is  a wily litigator, who knows the highways and byways of RTA litigation through and through'.

'Steven Santy is a super litigator. He is very well prepared, has very good judgment and is always prepared to go the extra mile to get the best result he can for his client'.

'Claire Burnell: not entirely sure where Claire manages to find the time to put in the amount of work she does. She leaves no stone unturned in preparing a case'.

Work highlights

  • Advised on a matter where the claimant suffered a stroke as a result of a road traffic accident.
  • Advised the claimant who had been involved in a serious motorbike accident when his helmet dislodged at the time of the accident.
  • Advising another claimant who was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.
  • Acted for a front seat passenger in a head-on collision.
  • Acted for another claimant who was involved in a head-on collision.
Leading individuals

Andy Shaw - Higgs & Sons

Rising stars

Steven Santy - Higgs & Sons

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West Midlands: Private client

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

Higgs & Sons

At Higgs & Sons, philanthropy continues to be a large part of the work undertaken by the team, particularly in the context of advising private and corporate clients on how to best to structure their charitable giving. Kirsty McEwen leads the team, whose expertise includes the use of private charitable foundations, corporate foundations and legacy giving. The group also acts for many established charitable and not-for-profit organisations, such as specialist faith organisations and non-denominational religious organisations, educational charities, sports bodies, and arts and heritage charities.

Practice head(s):Kirsty McEwen

Other key lawyers:Claire Hamlin


'We are very pleased with the first-class service we have always received from Kirsty McEwen, Claire Hamlin and all the team at Higgs & Sons. They are not only very professional but also friendly and approachable'.

'Kirsty McEwen and Claire Hamlin are particularly supportive'.

Key Clients

The Mary Stevens Hospice

See Beyond Borders

British Glass Foundation

Fisher Frederick Pearson Charity

John Amphlett’s School Charity

Dudley Canal Trust

Margaret Westwood Memorial Charity

Alan Robert Laken Charitable Trust

Anthony and Gwendoline Wylde Memorial Charity

Rachel Baker Memorial Charity

Claude Ballard Southall Memorial Charity

Ken Wrigley Memorial Trust

Hilda Farr Charitable Trust

Michael Gardner Trust

The Joan Braithwaite Sailing Trust

Wollaston Free Church

Christadelphian Hall

Ian Addison Charitable Foundation

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • Since 2017, the team has been advising on the complex reorganisation of Mary Stevens Hospice's trading activities, in particular its retail units.
  • The team is assisting British Glass Foundation with the complex project work involved in the transfer of the undertaking of the museum service at Broadfield Glass Museum to the client.
  • The team advised Fisher Frederick Pearson Charity on bringing its governing documents up to date with the Charities Act 2011, and on governance best practice and prepared the documents that were required to formalise the change, including minutes and resolutions.
  • Instructed by John Amphlett’s School Charity to advise on the complexities of incorporating the unincorporated Trust to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) structure.
  • Providing ongoing strategic advice to Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust Limited on constitutional, governance and regulatory matters in respect of the merger of two existing charitable organisations.

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

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons has a strong profile among wealthy families and wealthy landed clients. It regularly handles disputes in the course of complex and high-value estate administrations, and it also handles matters involving the removal of executors/trustees. In addition, it has particular expertise in disappointed beneficiary claims, with extensive experience of proprietary estoppel cases. Lucy Obrey leads the team, which saw Beth King-Smith join Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Practice head(s):Lucy Obrey

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the father of the deceased in defending a claim against his son’s estate by the deceased’s partner.
  • Instructed by professional executors to defend an application for their removal.  

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Family: Elsewhere in the West Midlands
Family: Elsewhere in the West Midlands - ranked: tier 1

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons primarily acts for high net worth individuals and owner managers of businesses (particularly those in the manufacturing sector). Philip Barnsley leads the team, which advises on diverse financial issues on relationship breakdown, such as nuptial, cohabitation and separation agreements. It is also knowledgeable about all aspects of Children Act proceedings and other matters include adoption, living arrangements for children and parenting plans. Barnsley has niche expertise in nuptial agreements involving family investment companies, trust structures and business assets.

Practice head(s):Philip Barnsley

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

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons specialises in advising individuals and families on preserving their personal and corporate wealth. The department acts for a significant number of family businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals with business interests. It works closely with its corporate department to provide fully- rounded tax and estate planning advice to owner managed businesses, directors and shareholders. Lucy Obrey leads the first-rate team, which includes Nick Moxon. Another key figure is Peter Gosling, who has specialist expertise in the wealth planning issues of high-net-worth individuals and their families. Gosling is also knowledgeable about rural issues.

Practice head(s):Lucy Obrey

Other key lawyers:Nick Moxon; Peter Gosling; David Morgan


'Lucy Obrey is knowledgeable and experienced'.

'Peter Gosling has a calm and reassuring presence with clients, he is technically excellent and talks through issues well with clients in a way that is easily understandable by them'.

'David Morgan is very skilled on probate matters, technically he is excellent and he really knows his stuff'.

Work highlights

  • Lucy Obrey was appointed as an independent administrator in a disputed estate whereby the children and previous executors were unable to progress matters.
  • Advising on the ongoing administration of the estate of a sole solicitor practitioner.  
  • Advised the client and her family in relation to two property transactions and other substantial estate planning matters.
  • Advising the personal representatives in the complex estate of a local businessman

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West Midlands: Real estate

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

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons gives comprehensive advice on the full scope of real estate matters and is instructed by a wide variety of clients. Practice head Cherry Elliott mainly handles commercial development and investment matters. The team also includes landlord and tenant work specialist Peter Coleman, Richard Saxton, who advises on real estate finance, retail and leisure transactions, as well as Sara Shepherd, who has expertise assisting corporate occupiers and clients in the healthcare sector. Rachael Hobbis joined from Shakespeare Martineau LLP in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Cherry Elliott

Other key lawyers:Peter Coleman; Sara Shepherd; Richard Saxton

Key Clients

London & Cambridge Properties

A F Blakemore & Son Limited

T H Baker

Talash Hotels Group

Duchy Homes

Bovis Homes

Gail’s Bakery

Hovi Luxury Homes Limited

Cassidy Group Limited

HSBC Bank Plc

Bathams Brewery

Severn Valley Railway

Rubery Owen

Work highlights

  • Acted for luxury jeweller T.H. Baker on the sale of a portfolio of 19 retail stores to Pandora
  • Acted on the sale of the Falstaff Hotel in Leamington Spa to a private investor.
  • Acted for regional housebuilder Duchy Homes in connection with the acquisition of a large development site in Tanworth-in-Arden.
  • Acted for Gail’s Bakery on a new lease at the iconic Shell Centre on the South Bank in London.
  • Acted for London & Cambridge Properties on the sale of a long leasehold car showroom in Newbury.
Next Generation Partners

Cherry Elliott - Higgs & Sons

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Construction - ranked: tier 4

Higgs & Sons

The construction team at Higgs & Sons was recently bolstered by the arrival of Rachael Hobbis from Shakespeare Martineau LLP in May 2018. Hobbis specialises in construction procurement matters and building and civil engineering disputes. In other work, the team advises developers, contractors and investors in a wide range of sectors on construction documentation.

Practice head(s):Rachael Hobbis

Key Clients

Hugg Homes Limited

Cassidy Group Property Limited

RTS Construction Group

RTS Construction Group

London & Cambridge Properties

Inland Homes PLC A F Blakemore

ADI Beverage & Food Services Ltd

Waltbros Construction Limited

Edmond Shipway LLP

Work highlights

  • Assisted Hugg Homes in the preparation and drafting of a contract procuring modular construction homes to local authorities for the housing of homeless and those in temporary housing.
  • Acted on behalf of RTS Construction Group in respect of the development of a new build retail park at Plymouth.
  • Assisting LCP Estates in pursuing rectification of defective car park works at a retail park against the main contractor.
  • Advised Inland Homes on the full review of the suite of construction documents for the procurement of its professional team.
  • Acted for ADI Food and Beverage Services in responding to an adjudication by its sub-contractor for interim payment application, valuation of additions and consideration of non-oral modification clause.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons is regularly involved in both commercial and residential property disputes, ranging from property management claims relating to lease renewals, rent reviews and break notices, to development disputes such as restrictive covenants, as well as neighbour disputes. Paul Barker focuses on commercial property litigation, while Nyree Applegarth often acts on boundary disputes and trespass matters; both advise a mixture of investors, occupiers, developers and private individuals.

Other key lawyers:Nyree Applegarth; Paul Barker

Key Clients

London & Cambridge Properties (and related companies)

Duchy Homes Limited

TH Baker & Co Limited

Sheet Anchor Investments Limited (and related companies)

Redleaf Limited

MIA Property Group and MIA Lettings Group

A F Blakemore & Son Limited (Spar)

Greyfort Properties Limited

Severn Valley Railway Plc

Allen Ford (UK) Limited

Apus Projects Limited

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise London and Cambridge Properties on lease renewals, disputes concerning break notices, service charge disputes and other asset management issues.
  • Advising Sheet Anchor Investments in relation to significant breaches by its tenant under the terms of a licence to alter, permitting residential development to the upper floors of commercial premises in Essex.
  • Acting for a claimant seeking equitable relief by way of proprietary estoppel and/or constructive trust in relation to land where the defendant was a leaseholder under a 999-year lease.
Leading individuals

Paul Barker - Higgs & Sons

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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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