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Howes Percival LLP

FLINT BUILDINGS, 1 BEDDING LANE, NORWICH, NR3 1RG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01603 762103
Fax:
Fax 01603 762104
DX:
5280 NORWICH
Email:
Web:
www.howespercival.com

East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cambridge
Corporate and commercial: Cambridge - ranked: tier 3

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has a growing profile in Cambridge and a roster of high-value corporate and commercial work. The team works closely with lawyers in the firm's other offices in East Anglia and further afield to handle corporate transactions for owner-managed and family-owned businesses, as well as high-net-worth individuals engaging in corporate sales and acquisitions. Its work frequently involves transactions in the tourism and leisure, automotive, healthcare and financial services sectors. Nathan Horton leads the practice with support from solicitor Venetia Phipps, who advises both private and public sector clients on corporate matters. Their recent work includes advising the shareholders of a company on a proposed investment by and shareholders’ agreement with another business in the same sector, acting for a significant shareholder in its proposed exit from a business, and handling a group restructuring of its UK business for a subsidiary of a US corporate.

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

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has a highly respected corporate and commercial practice that operates as one entity across its network of offices in East Anglia and beyond, but the Norwich office remains a central hub of the department and its lawyers act for numerous owner-managed and family-owned businesses, as well as for high-net-worth individuals in sales and acquisitions, investment transactions and corporate reorganisations. Robert Colman leads the practice and frequently handles acquisitions and disposals, as well as shareholder and investment agreements. He recently supported a client in entering a joint venture for the development and operation of a leisure site. Nathan Horton is the other partner in the practice and he acted for the shareholders of BBC Fire Protection Limited in the company's £8.3m sale to AIM-listed critical maintenance services provider Marlowe Plc. Associate Katherine Brown also played a key role in that transaction.

Leading individuals

Robert Colman - Howes Percival LLP

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East Anglia: Dispute resolution

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

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP¬†recruited a new litigation partner to build up its commercial litigation offering in Cambridge. Michael Green, who was previously head of the London disputes team and national head of restructuring and insolvency at Weightmans LLP, has more than 20 years' experience in commercial disputes. His practice has an¬†emphasis on company and shareholder disputes, warranty claims, partnership advice, restraint of trade matters, technology claims and contract disputes, alongside his insolvency litigation work. His growing caseload included acting for motor industry franchise Bowker BMW in a ¬£1.4m compensation claim against¬†against a utility company arising from statutory works. He is currently advising Frampton Worldwide Ltd on a ¬£500,000 technology claim¬†against a large bakery customer relating to the design, manufacture and supply of an industrial food line. The¬†‚Äėresponsive and business-minded‚Äė¬†Victoria Sandell¬†¬†joined the team from Taylor Vinters.

Next generation lawyers

Victoria Sandell  - Howes Percival LLP

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Commercial litigation: Norwich
Commercial litigation: Norwich - ranked: tier 2

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP¬†is known for¬†‚Äėgreat customer service‚Äė from a ‚Äėknowledgable and experienced team‚Äė. The firm has 'excellent commercial litigators who are particularly well experienced in handling large and complex government litigation; they are tactically astute and very commercial in their approach'.¬†Alison Kirby¬†leads the practice in Norwich and is recommended for her¬†‚Äėattention to detail, clarity, speed of response and reliability‚Äė. The firm handles high-value, urgent, complex and high-profile regional, national and cross-border commercial disputes, as well as acting for¬† government departments in high-stakes litigation. Kirby recently handled a multimillion-pound case in the financial services sector, which involved a longstanding fraud by financial advisors. She also acted for the operator of a hotel in a dispute arising from contracts negotiated without authority by a former employee.¬†Director¬†Gordon Simpson¬†has more than 20 years' experience in contentious matters, particularly in the energy sector.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

The debt recovery practice at Howes Percival LLP is led by Alison Kirby, who has more than 20 years' experience in commercial litigation and insolvency, and who frequently acts on behalf of the Crown. Insolvency partner Morris Peacock and director Gordon Simpson, whose litigation practice includes many cases of debt recovery arising from commercial and construction contracts, also play key roles. Recent highlights for the practice include many cases for Larking Gowen and Lovewell Blake on the collection of outstanding book debts following the liquidation of companies, for Easton & Otley College and independent school Langley School Limited on the recovery of unpaid term fees and invoices, and for Bussey & Sabberton Bros Limited on the recovery of unpaid hire purchase agreements. The firm now offers reviews of clients' internal procedures and debtor lists to maximise recoveries.

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East Anglia: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Howes Percival LLP

At Howes Percival LLP¬†'the service is exceptional, with a quick turnaround even on matters of complexity; the advice is pragmatic and not of the "ivory tower‚ÄĚ academic variety which has little relevance to the needs of the business client'. One client remarks that 'the firm is good value for money, particularly compared with other ‚Äúbig-hitters‚ÄĚ in the region'. Another says 'I rate them higher and consistently better than other local firms for property-related bank lending'. Commercial property partner Joanna Nicholls¬†and corporate partner Robert Colman¬†lead the practice, which focuses heavily on real estate finance. Nicholls is 'the epitome of quiet competence'¬†and property specialist¬†Tessa Haskey¬†is 'readily approachable and confident'. Steven Beach¬†is also recommended for advising banks and private lenders on property security matters. A recent highlight saw Haskey advise Svenska Handelsbanken on the grant of a development loan facility for two sites. She also acted for R Q Capital Limited, Winterton Capital Limited and Markerstudy Insurance Company Limited in securing a development loan.

Leading individuals

Joanna Nicholls - Howes Percival LLP

Tessa Haskey - Howes Percival LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP 'ranks among the top firms in this area', according to one client. 'Without doubt one of the best insolvency law firms in the country', remarks one barrister who adds that 'it is the "go-to" firm in the area'. Alison Kirby advises both corporate and government clients and is 'not only a highly-skilled and experienced insolvency litigator, but also has a commitment to clients which is rarely seen, going far beyond what is expected'. 'Tactically astute' insolvency and directors disqualification specialist Morris Peacock is 'adept at commercial litigation and is very tactically aware; he is always in tune with clients’ considerations'. He acted for the Insolvency Service in certification proceedings against Dominic Chappell following the failure of BHS. Michael Green recently acted for Peters Elworthy & Moore as trustee in the liquidation of a large warehousing group. Director William Shirley, who has more than 13 years' experience in acting for government departments,  is 'an experienced commercial litigator who is particularly skilled at drafting with a good eye for detail; he also has a very client-focussed and commercial approach'. Associate Patrick Manning is 'particularly experienced in litigation concerning government matters such as applications by the Official Receiver and HMRC'.

Leading individuals

Alison Kirby - Howes Percival LLP

Morris Peacock - Howes Percival LLP

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East Anglia: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP's employment practice continued to grow its profile in both Norwich and Cambridge last year. Leading light Matthew Potter leads the practice from Cambridge and his varied caseload from 2017 included defending an injunction in the High Court arising from restrictive covenants, which settled after a preliminary hearing; pursuing and employment tribunal  on behalf of national employer; complex TUPE litigation arising from failure to provide accurate employee information; defending complex discrimination claims on behalf of employers; advising on restructures and changes to term and conditions; and assisting with senior executive exits. Oyster Marine and EMCOR (UK) Group plc are among his clients. Associate Nicola Butterworth in Norwich has 15 years' experience in employment and HR matters, most notably in the leisure and tourism, and energy sectors. She advised the family shareholders of Aspall Cyder Limited on issues arising from its sale to a foreign company.

Leading individuals

Matthew Potter - Howes Percival LLP

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East Anglia: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP primarily acts for substantial landowners, trusts and partnerships in agricultural property matters, estate and farm management, tax structuring and development land transactions. The agriculture practice has a busy caseload of farm and estate deals, long-term funding transactions for farms and rural properties including banking work, investigations and registrations of complex unregistered titles, and options, conditional contracts and overage agreements for landowners. Head of estates Catherine Scott leads a practice that combines specialist knowledge of agricultural law with an in-depth understanding of the complex tax issues that affect the rural sector. Scott is a specialist agricultural lawyer with extensive experience in advising farmers and landowners on property, trusts and tax matters. She recently acted for the shareholders of Aspall Holdings Limited on a major corporate transaction. Her workload in 2017 also included advising numerous agricultural tenants on the reorganisation of their tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings Act, and assisting landlords of agricultural tenancies with Case B notices to allow for vacant possession of land for development. Head of tax Stuart Maggs is a fellow of the Agricultural Law Association and handles strategic planning, management and tax mitigation for trusts, partnerships and companies. Director Katharine Danks plays a key role in the practice and works closely with Scott. Together they handled the complex sale of an estate under terms of two trusts. Consultant Jeremy Heal retired.

Leading individuals

Catherine Scott - Howes Percival LLP

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

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP provides 'excellent service and prompt responses; all fee earners have sound knowledge and are good value for money'. Several of the firm's partners act as charity trustees and have experience in governance issues. The multi-disciplinary practice draws on the firm's private client, employment, property and estates groups to handle all aspects of charity formation, mergers, restructuring and administration. Head of estates Catherine Scott is the key contact and acts as trustee of a large grant-making charity with endowed and investment property. One client praises corporate and commercial partner Nathan Horton, associate and employment law specialist Nicola Butterworth , and property and education director Nicola Curle  for their 'excellent knowledge of their subject matter and their ability to respond promptly'. Richard Lovett is also praised for his specialist knowledge of the charity sector. Paul Bassham Charitable Trust, Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, Theatre Royal Norwich, The Woodland Trust and YMCA Norfolk are among the firm's clients.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has a highly experienced partner in Amy Walpole who leads the family practice. The firm climbs the ranking and has invested to expand the team in Norwich, with solicitor Laura Clay-Harris recently joining from Marshall Hatchick Solicitors to work alongside Walpole and Sophie Key. The practice focuses primarily on high-net-worth cases involving divorce and dissolution, financial negotiations, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation issues and Children Act matters. It also calls on the firm's strong property practice to advise on the division of assets following the breakdown of relationships. Walpole, who is a member of the Norfolk Collaborative Practice Group, recently acted for the respondent in matrimonial and financial proceedings involving high-value property and business assets.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Cambridge - ranked: tier 3

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP joins the ranking now that private client associate Amy Wallhead , who joined from Hewitsons, is permanently based in the Cambridge office. Wallhead specialises in the drafting of wills, Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax planning, administering estates, and Deeds of Variation. She worked with litigation partner Michael Green  on a case involving the estate of a deceased bankrupt that included locating deeds for unregistered properties. In another complex matter, she advised an elderly client on rewriting her will after one of her children set up lasting power of attorney and withdrew large sums from her bank accounts. The firm is known for high-quality, bespoke tax and estate planning advice for high-net-worth individuals and for advice on family ownership and business relief matters for its large agricultural client base.

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

Howes Percival LLP

The practice at Howes Percival LLP is 'efficient, extremely knowledgeable, client-oriented and excellent at working with other professionals to provide the client with the complete service'. The firm is known for providing high-quality bespoke planning and strategic advice in complex situations to high-net-worth individuals, families and trusts. Specialist agricultural lawyer Catherine Scott leads the estates team and regularly advises farmers and landowners on tax-efficient property structures, estate planning and trust-related matters. One client remarks that head of tax Stuart Maggs and Richard Lovett, who specialises in tax planning for large family trusts, 'have a greater level of technical expertise than their peers in respect of particularly complex or unusual issues'. CIOT-accredited Stuart Maggs is also recommended for advice to high-net-worth individuals on complex technical issues arising from wills, tax planning and estate administration. Another key partner is Jonathan Wortley, who has 37 years' experience in private client and property matters. One complex matter dealt with by the practice in 2017 involved making provision for an estranged child to prevent an Inheritance Act claim involving a multimillion-pound estate.

Leading individuals

Catherine Scott - Howes Percival LLP

Stuart Maggs - Howes Percival LLP

Next generation lawyers

Tom Lawrence - Howes Percival LLP

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East Anglia: Real estate

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

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP  has increased its presence in the market and expanded its bench of junior talent to support its highly experienced partners. Jonathan Greenhalgh is the key contact in Cambridge, where Steven Beach is an established name with more than 30 years' experience in the market. Michaela Henson is also a standout partner with more than 20 years’ experience in advising landowners, developers and commercial clients on development, investments, site assembly, and landlord and tenant matters. The firm is active in residential development development projects for clients such as Hill Residential Limited, Laragh House Developments Limited and Enterprise Property Group. It also assists landowners including landed estates and rural businesses with these projects. Turnstone Estates Limited and Artisan (UK) Developments are among its clients for commercial development work. The practice also handles investment portfolio matters and last year Beach advised Cambridge University Endowment Fund on the £7.7m sale of a residential development site at Stanton Cross, Northamptonshire to Bovis Homes Group Limited, which involved both the sale of land and complex security arrangements for the funding of the project. The firm also has specialist expertise in property finance, leisure and tourism projects and property transactions in the education sector.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Greenhalgh - Howes Percival LLP

Michaela Henson - Howes Percival LLP

Steven Beach - Howes Percival LLP

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Commercial property: Norwich
Commercial property: Norwich - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP¬†is praised for its¬†'strong business approach ‚Äď quietly efficient, providing excellent advice appropriate to the situation and good value for money'. The practice handles major residential and commercial development projects, investment portfolio matters, property finance and renewable energy projects, and it has specific expertise in sectors such as leisure, tourism, education, healthcare and automotive. The firms ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äė partners include practice head and firm chair¬†Tessa Haskey, who has ‚Äėa readily approachable and confident manner', and the 'calm and confident'¬†Joanna Nicholls. Haskey acted for¬†Norse Development Company and International Aviation Academy on the letting of the academy to various users including a¬†¬†helicopter manufacturer and the local air ambulance service.¬†Tracey Hughes¬†is a leading light in¬†complex development matters. For¬†Heritage Developments, she handled a ¬£5m site acquisition for residential development. Directors¬†Nicola Curle¬†and¬†Alice Liddle¬†are recommended for advice on residential development and the drafting of complex contracts respectively.

Leading individuals

Tessa Haskey - Howes Percival LLP

Tracey Hughes - Howes Percival LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has experienced environment lawyers in all of its offices, though the centre of gravity is in Norwich. The firm handles environmental permitting, waste and minerals projects, environmental policy and protocol issues, and matters concerning sea and river defences, animal by-products and the management of regulatory breaches. Practice head Paul Wootton focuses primarily on planning issues but has a substantial caseload of environmental impact assessments relating to protected habitats. He worked with consultant Rebecca Carriage to support a large estate in Norfolk with managing the impact of a major local infrastructure project on its land, which included negotiations with public bodies and local authorities. Clients remark that Carriage is 'excellent at translating an extremely complicated area of law into simple language and giving practical commercial advice'. She frequently advises Ford Retail Limited on environmental policy and the regulatory aspects of corporate transactions. Planning associate Jay Mehta and solicitor Jamie Childs are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Rebecca Carriage - Howes Percival LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP¬†provides ‚Äėan excellent level of service in all areas‚Äė. For one client the firm is ‚Äėthe top-rated planning law firm in East Anglia ‚Äď the service is first-rate, they are proactive¬†in advising on planning matters, emerging legislation and case law, and the team has a high level of expertise and commerciality‚Äė. 'For top-quality, high-value planning work and very contentious and intellectually complicated Judicial Reviews, the firm is first-rate, always legally well informed, but providing commercial, sensible and practical advice to boot', remarks another.¬†Paul Wootton, whose specialisms include compulsory purchase matters and strategic planning advice, leads the practice from Norwich. 'Very bright and tenacious' associate¬†Jay Mehta, who is regularly involved in judicial reviews and statutory challenges, ‚Äėoffers a personal, tailored service with the backup of a large practice'. Wootton and Mehta advised¬†Breckland District Council on a sustainable urban development project comprising 4,000 homes and a link road to Norwich. Solicitor Jamie Childs¬†also receives plaudits for his work on s106 agreements and challenges to judicial reviews. Persimmon Homes and Pigeon Group are also among the firm's clients.¬†Planning specialist Ashtons Legal¬†moved to Ashtons Legal.

Leading individuals

Paul Wootton - Howes Percival LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jay Mehta - Howes Percival LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Howes Percival LLP

The practice at¬†Howes Percival LLP¬†is headed by¬†Simon Murphy¬†in Cambridge. Murphy and associate¬†Leanne Davis¬†have market-leading expertise in¬†landlord and tenant matters and¬†frequently manage property portfolios and deal with lease renewals and exits. Among their clients are¬†Cambridge University Endowment Fund,¬†Greene King Plc and¬†Co-Operative Group. They also advise clients in the technology and biomedical sectors on their dilapidations liabilities, including the decontamination of buildings. In Norwich,¬†Jamie Kidd¬†is the key contact. His group handles contentious¬†land and development issues, with a growing niche in leasehold and freehold enfranchisement matters. He recently handled a case for Ford Retail arising from the contamination of land by a neighbouring landowner, which had prevented its sale.¬†UK Power Networks Plc and the¬†Ministry of Defence are also among his clients.¬†Kidd and newly qualified solicitor William Trow¬† ‚Äėdeliver timely advice'.

Leading individuals

Jamie Kidd - Howes Percival LLP

Simon Murphy - Howes Percival LLP

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

Howes Percival LLP

The property team at Howes Percival LLP frequently acts for social housing clients on site acquisition and construction matters. Commercial property partner Simon Murphy leads the multi-disciplinary practice from Cambridge. He calls upon the 'excellent' Michaela Henson, who is highly recommended for development work, Helen Stewart who handles acquisitions for East Cambs Trading Company Limited, solicitor Scott Smith who deals with development and golden brick agreements for Hundred Houses Society Limited, and conveyancer Clare Best who undertakes site acquisitions and plot sales for clients including Luminus Homes. Highly experienced property litigator Jamie Kidd in Norwich is a volunteer board member at Norwich Housing Society and regularly handles contentious matters for the firm's housing association clients.

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Further information on Howes Percival LLP

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

East Anglia

Offices in Norwich and Cambridge

East Midlands

Offices in Northampton and Leicester

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes

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