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Freeths LLP

5000 OXFORD BUSINESS PARK SOUTH, OXFORD, OX4 2BH, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01865 780 1000
Fax:
Fax 01865 778504
DX:
45418 COWLEY
Email:
Web:
www.freeths.co.uk

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Corporate and commercial: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has particular strength in the drinks and hospitality and leisure sectors, where it acts for major brewers and pub operators, including Charles Wells, as well as restaurant chain owners. Practice head Jonathan Hambleton and senior associate Natalie Drought advised Charles Wells, which owns a portfolio of more than 250 pubs as well as several well-known beer brands, on its £55m disposal to Marston's, which included the sale of the client's business in Italy. Hambleton also acted alongside Michaela Selvester in Birmingham for Hatch Mansfield UK on a joint venture with Champagne Tattinger to create an English sparkling wine. Outside of the drinks and hospitality sectors, the team acted for Frosts Garden Centres on the sale of a landscape and ground maintenance business; and assisted JF Eilbeck (Chemist) on the sale of its pharmacy business to Norchem Healthcare for £7.1m. The team was joined in 2017 by Gary Smith from Dentons; he acted for Blackstar Amplification on a complicated MBO which involved buying out funds controlled by Foresight Group as well as two of the original founders, and the acquisition of two well-known producers of electric and acoustic guitars. Other key figures include Andrew Sharple, who is 'an outstandingly good lawyer who gets the client to the desired solution on a cost-effective basis'.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Hambleton - Freeths LLP

Next generation lawyers

James Cowell - Freeths LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

The ‘extremely knowledgeable, helpful and responsive’ Freeths LLP team in Oxford has considerable experience in the healthcare, automotive and transport, TMT, food and drink, and hospitality and leisure sectors, among others. The department is headed by M&A transaction specialist Leon Arnold (‘clear, authoritative, confident and experienced’). Arnold and senior associate Malin Svanberg Larsson (‘excellent at making the process clear and understandable, incisive commercial acumen, able to summarise complex issues in layman’s terms’) recently assisted Coopland & Son with obtaining an £8.5m growth capital investment from Business Growth Fund. Arnold and Larsson were also assisted by commercial partner Rebecca Howlett, who recently joined from Harrison Clark Rickerbys, in co-ordinating the Würth Group’s acquisition of IQD Frequency Products group companies. Tom Walker, who was recently promoted to partner, advised the shareholders of Crystallon, the holding company of Oxford Cryosystems, on the sale of its entire issued share capital to Judges Scientific, further to Freeths’ longstanding relationship with Oxford Cryosystems. Key clients of the practice include Adestra, JCAM Investments and the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Next generation lawyers

Malin Svanberg Larsson - Freeths LLP

Tom Walker - Freeths LLP

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has a particularly strong reputation for handling commercial disputes in the drinks and hospitality sector, where its disputes practice acts for a number of well-known UK brand owners, including Casual Dining Group, owners of the Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas restaurant chains. The practice's other clients include UK-based plcs such as Dawsongroup, international companies such as Amscan International, and SMEs. In an illustration of its longstanding relationships with clients, the firm continues to act for the claimants in a long-running case involving the value and rights in a family business, which has involved eight interlocutory hearings, three trials, and which has progressed to a costs assessment. It is also acting for numerous transport and logistics companies in proposed claims for damages against the major truck manufacturers arising from the European Commission's investigation into price fixing cartel behavious. Simon Hobbs  heads the practice, which includes property litigator Mark Brown.

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Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

The 'consistent, reliable' team at Freeths LLP ‘provides high-quality advice, day in, day out’. The team’s experience encompasses multi-party shareholder, IT supplier and professional negligence cases and passing off claims, with industry specialisms including logistics, technology, manufacturing, construction and retail. Clients of the practice include BMW, GEFCO and Annie Sloan. Head of dispute resolution Duncan Crine] ‘is very good at dealing with complex disputes and delivering practical, commercially focused advice, and is very client friendly’, while Clare Bellis ‘is also very client friendly and good at dealing with urgent and complex disputes’. Senior associate Andrew Dashwood-Begg has a ‘keen legal mind and an eye for detail’. Oxford office managing partner Sarah Foster maintains a significant role in the team.

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South East: Finance

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

Freeths LLP

The insolvency department of Freeths LLP is spread across two offices in the South East. The practice in Milton Keynes often handles asset transactions for distressed businesses in the drinks and hospitality sector, while the Oxford team is best known for its work in the real estate industry, including insolvency proceedings and wrongful trading or misfeasance claims. Practice lead Simon Hobbs acted for Intertain concerning the liquidation of debtor Jongleurs Comedy prior to the client's sale to Stonegate. Dispute resolution leader Duncan Crine is the main contact in Oxford. The department also advises PwC, Quantuma, Ernst & Young and Opus Restructuring.

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 4

Freeths LLP

Mark Emery joined Freeths LLP in September 2017 to develop the firm’s employment law presence in the Thames Valley corridor. The team is noted for its expertise in the food and drinks and education industries, representing clients before employment tribunals, undertaking all its own advocacy, and handling TUPE claims. Emery and dispute management associate Paul Brown] are acting for the former managing director of Orchid Field Marketing in an employment tribunal claim for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Emery is also handling a group action on behalf of eight former employees against Meta VS and others for TUPE breaches and unfair dismissal.

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South East: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant
Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

The clinical negligence practice at Freeths LLP consists of 'high-quality advisers' handling high-value brain, birth, cerebral palsy, obstetric and orthopaedic cases, as well as matters concerning stillbirth and neonatal death. The latter types of cases are a specialism of 'hugely respected, approachable and very able' team lead Carolyn Lowe. Clients further recommend 'clear but subtle' solicitor Lucy Habgood and senior associate Lynne Foster , who 'understands cases from a personal perspective'. Another key member in the team is brain injury lawyer Catherine Bell. Leading lawyer Cecily Cameron retired at the end of 2016.

Leading individuals

Carolyn Lowe - Freeths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Catherine Bell - Freeths LLP

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Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

'One of the more organised, prepared and competent firms in the South East', Freeths LLP has a 'very efficient and client-focused' personal injury team which 'achieves good outcomes even in the riskier claims'. It handles brain injury, fatal, employers' liability and cycling matters. The core practice consists of 'very able, tactically savvy and easy-to-work-with' senior associate Irvin Thobourne, who is best known for cases involving the Motor Insurers' Bureau and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, and associate Amy Barnett, who specialises in liability claims.

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

The 'approachable, reliable and professional' defendant personal injury practice at Freeths LLP is renowned for its 'thorough preparation, effective operation, insightful advice and cost-efficient outcomes', often acting for companies in the automotive sector. Its range of experience covers employers', public and product liability and industrial injury and disease, as well as motor and HSE claims. In a recent highlight, 'vastly experienced' team lead Paul Chadder and 'extremely diligent' solicitor Matthew Bacon represented engineering ceramics company Vesuvius as one of the defendants in a £4m claim concerning the claimant's psychiatric and respiratory injuries inflicted by their negligent exposure to cement dust and welding fumes while working in a cement factory. Other long-standing clients include XL Catlin, BMW, Faraday and Zurich Insurance. Chadder is 'technically excellent and operationally practical'. Associate Amy Barnett is another key member in the department.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's professional negligence practice is praised for its 'clear understanding of facts and legal issues, sensible legal advice, and well-drafted legal documents'. Practice head Duncan Crine 'clearly knows his stuff in this field; he is attentive to time pressures and deals with matters promptly and effectively'. Crine has more than 25 years' experience handling high-value and complex professional negligence disputes for claimants and defendants, with particular strength in cases where there is a fraud element. He leads a team that includes Sarah Foster, whose track record includes acting for insurers in defending professionals in claims against local authority employees, and Clare Bellis, who handles professional negligence cases alongside her property litigation practice. The team acts for corporates, individuals, insurers and professionals in professional negligence claims and related insurance policy coverage matters.

Leading individuals

Duncan Crine - Freeths LLP

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South East: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP attracts praise for its 'excellent grasp of agricultural law', with clients singling out practice head Iain Davis ('approachable, very knowledgeable and supremely efficient'), Samantha Leigh ('highly knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile') and the 'hugely efficient' Sarah Duffy as key figures among the sizeable team. Also recommended are tax, probate and trusts specialist Jane Maitland, Balvinder Jaj, who is noted for his focus on greenfield and brownfield site developments and agricultural lending, and Lesley Pollock, who specialises in the acquisition and disposal of country houses. In an illustration of the practice's agricultural property expertise, Duffy led the team assisting with a grant of promotion agreement over 25 acres of land near Didcot, Oxford, as well as acting on the acquisition of adjoining land and the negotiation and grant of an option agreement with the county council in respect a school expansion site. In another highlight, Leigh assisted the trustees of a landed estate with the letting of a listed manor house, including advising on the consequences of the removal of the land from a stewardship scheme and sale of entitlements.

Leading individuals

Iain Davis - Freeths LLP

Jane Maitland - Freeths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Balvinder Jaj - Freeths LLP

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

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is 'a very personable firm that does not baffle clients with legal terms and always has their interests in mind'. The charities team is praised for its 'strong breadth of experience', with team head Robert Nieri singled out for his 'well-rounded knowledge, good understanding of clients and ability to always meet expectations'. The practice acts for more than 260 charities and not-for-profit organisations, including Cancer Research UK, Oxfam and RSPB, on matters ranging from formations and registrations, property work and employment, to contentious and non-contentious legacy work. Issues arising from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have been a key theme throughout 2017, with the firm acting for RSPB on its GDPR compliance programme and opt-in campaign. Nieri's expertise covers governance issues, commercial agreements, fundraising and disputes. Also recommended are contentious trust and probate specialist Sarah Foster , Lesley Pollock, who handles charity property matters, and Nigel Roots. Angela Bowman joined Shoosmiths LLP in December 2017.

Leading individuals

Nigel Roots - Freeths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Robert Nieri - Freeths LLP

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

Freeths LLP

'A top-flight firm with a national profile', Freeths LLP's team is 'a really good option for serious contentious litigation'. The practice covers the full range of contentious trust work, including Inheritance Act claims, challenges to the validity of wills, Court of Protection matters and estoppel claims. Sarah Foster heads the practice and is noted for her 'wealth of experience in the field, which she can draw on to secure good results for clients'. Other key figures include Sally Goodger, who is 'highly experienced, always communicates clearly and remains calm under pressure'; Rosalyn Shepherd, who 'always fights for the clients' best interests'; and Paul Brown, who is 'very thorough and able to take a good tactical view of a dispute'. Angela Bowman joined Shoosmiths LLP.

Leading individuals

Sarah Foster - Freeths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sally Goodger - Freeths LLP

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Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

'Star solicitor' Rachael Oakes heads the ‘team of driven and passionate lawyers’ at Freeths LLP, which acts in complex and niche areas such as IVF, surrogacy and divorce cases relating to farming and agricultural matters, which is an area of strength for ‘very helpful and efficient’ senior associate Gemma Nicholls-Webber. Oakes is recommended as being ‘hugely impressive, formidable, very good with clients and well respected by the judiciary’, acting for high-net-worth individuals in matters regarding cross-border assets, businesses, complex trust structures, tax and pensions. The ‘widely respected’ Claire Cobert specialises in CMS appeals, Children Act matters and school appeals for parents, as well as traditional financial and children cases. ‘Efficient, professional yet friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable’ senior associate Elizabeth Stocker works primarily on family financial and children cases.

Leading individuals

Rachael Oakes - Freeths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gemma Nicholls-Webber - Freeths LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP has a ‘hugely experienced and knowledgeable team, but without the expense of a London firm’; it is renowned for its advice on trusts and tax for HNWIs, complex probate and trust administration, and Court of Protection matters, among others. National private client practice head Nigel Roots ‘runs a team of excellent individuals who deliver great results’, with his time split between the firm’s Oxford and London offices, acting for major educational institutions, landed estates and clients requiring multi-jurisdictional advice. Oxford office private client head Jane Maitland ‘is experienced and gives sound practical advice’, acting for HNWIs, company directors, farmers and academics on estate planning, as well as acting as executor and trustee of estates and trusts and as a court-appointed administrator in contested estates. Managing partner Sarah Foster is highly recommended for contentious trust and probate work.

Leading individuals

Jane Maitland - Freeths LLP

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South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
Commercial property: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Clients remain 'very pleased with the speed and efficiency of the service received' by the practice at Freeths LLP, which particularly stands out for its track record in the drinks, hospitality and leisure sectors. Clients in these arenas include the Casual Dining Group, which owns brands such as Café Rouge and Las Iguanas, and Burger King UK, which the firm recently assisted with a due diligence exercise on its existing portfolio of sites related to private equity firm Bridgepoint becoming the UK master franchisee for the fast food chain and its acquisition of one of the UK's largest Burger King franchisees. It is also highly active in the logistics space, with the team acting for new client FedEx on its real estate requirements following its acquisition of TNT in the UK. Other recent highlights include acting for London Luton Airport Operations on retail and concession agreements related to the airport's £110m expansion plans, and advising Advanced Computer Software Group on its lease of new office space in Birmingham. Valerie Warman heads the practice and has extensive experience acting for corporate occupiers and landlords. Hospitality group head Leo skinner and Shashi Chambers, who is noted for his expertise in matters related to airports and logistics businesses, are also recommended.

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Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP's real estate team provides ‘excellent service including prompt responses and well-considered, clear advice’, with specialisms including work for educational institutions, clients in the drinks, hospitality and leisure sectors, transport and logistics companies, and developers, among others. Recent areas of growth for the practice have included projects in the healthcare sector for product providers and nursing homes, construction projects relating to office agreements and industrial schemes, and property support on M&A transactions. Patrick Whetter and director Adrian White jointly head the Oxford real estate team; senior associates Desh Patel and Anna Power and 'personable but straight to the point' associate Laura Hodgson are other important team members.

Next generation lawyers

Desh Patel - Freeths LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Freeths LLP

Spread across the firm's Oxford and Milton Keynes offices, Freeths LLP fields an 'excellent' property litigation practice that provides 'well thought out advice and very well drafted representations'. Its expertise covers contentious agricultural property matters, acting for developers and landowners in contentious option, development and overage agreements, and leasehold enfranchisement and extension claims. The practice is particularly well known for its work in the licensed leisure sector, where it acts for pub owners and developers, as well as nightclub and hotel owners. Recent work includes acting for Hawthorne Leisure, the owner of the former Barn Owl public house in Northampton which was converted into a Co-operative convenience store in 2017, in an action brought by Northampton Borough Council to enforce a restrictive covenant against the client to restrain use of the property as a convenience store. In an illustration of its track record in agricultural matters, the practice acted for the landowners in rebutting claims by a grazier and family friend that they had an oral tenancy of land dating from 1992 and therefore subject to protection under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986. Other highlights included acting for Wadham College, Oxford in securing the surrender of the lease from the tenant and evicting squatters of on of the college's buildings. Clare Bellis heads the Oxford team, while heading up the Milton Keynes contingent is Mark Brown, who 'always brings new ideas to challenging situations'.

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Further information on Freeths LLP

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

East Midlands

Offices in Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester

London

Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester and Liverpool

South East

Offices in Milton Keynes and Oxford

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham and Stoke on Trent

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield and Leeds

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