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Knights plc

26 ORIENT WAY, PRIDE PARK, DERBY, DE24 8BY, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01332497600
Email:

East Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Nottingham and Derby
Leading individuals

Martin Smith - Knights PLC

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

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP is noted for ‘delivering excellent client-focused service’ and is singled out by clients as a ‘rare example of a professional and personal’ group. Having recently strengthened its corporate offering with the arrival of banking expert Haydon Simmonds from Addleshaw Goddard and the establishment of a specialist commercial team under the lead of Ian Thomson, the group now provides a dedicated corporate, banking and commercial offering. The team’s expertise in corporate transactions ranges from mergers and acquisitions to venture capital and private equity fundraising and investments, as well as complex reorganisations and corporate governance work. Clients include private and listed companies. In a recent headline-grabbing highlight, ‘excellent communicator’ Martin Smith and Jahid Ali, who jointly head the corporate team, led advice to the exiting private equity backers and founder shareholders on the secondary buyout of Ensek, an acquisition backed by Lloyds Development Capital and with debt funding provided by HSBC. In a venture capital highlight, Ali led a team assisting Longwall Venture Partners with the raising of a new £75m venture capital fund, with investors including British Business Bank and institutional and private investors. The client roster also features Beowulf Mining, Freudenberg & Co and Oxford Technology Management.

Leading individuals

Martin Smith - Spearing Waite LLP

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East Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Nottingham and Derby
Leading individuals

Jonathan Wheeler - Knights PLC

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

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP excels not only in High Court and County Court litigation, but also in alternative dispute resolution methods, including arbitration and mediation. The team's wide-ranging expertise covers corporate disputes, including warranty claims arising from corporate transactions; unfair prejudice claims under section 994 of the Companies Act; partnership disputes;  contractual disputes in relation to supply chains and restrictive covenant breaches; and financial mis-selling and professional negligence claims against accountancy, legal and architectural firms. The ‘very approachable’ Jonathan Wheeler heads the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Phillippa O’Neill and Piet van Gelder. Van Gelder recently acted for Universal Piling and Construction in a final account claim regarding piling and civil engineering works at Ilkeston Station, successfully bringing enforcement proceedings against Galliford Try to obtain payment for part of the works. Other clients include Completely Independent Distribution and Casepak.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Wheeler - Spearing Waite LLP

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East Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Spearing Waite LLP

Lauded for its ‘excellent client-focused service’, Spearing Waite LLP’s ‘professional and responsive’ department offers the full spectrum of employment law services, acting mainly for employers in the public and private sectors, including international corporations, local small and medium enterprises, and schools and third sector clients. Corporate support is a key pillar of work, as is litigation. The ‘proficient’ and ‘pragmatic’ Andrew Rowell heads the team, which includes CIPD-qualified Amanda Badley and associate Katherine Cooke. Recent highlights include providing employment law advice and training to Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies in relation to equal opportunities and bribery and corruption prevention. Other clients include Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Provisional Marmalade and Clifton Packaging Group.

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East Midlands: Private client

Family
Family - ranked: tier 2

Spearing Waite LLP

The ‘excellent’ Spearing Waite LLP specialises in advice for high-net-worth individuals, regularly on matters involving shareholdings, overseas assets or pensions, but also fields a strong practice in disputes involving children, including international relocation; domestic abuse cases, cohabitation instructions and civil partnerships. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are another key area. The ‘very experienced’ Swati Somaiya directs the team and brings ‘professionalism, diligence and toughness’ to her cases.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP offers ‘excellent service’ and has recently strengthened its expertise in trusts-related work and estate administration, including cross-jurisdictional elements, with the arrival of associate Julie Cook from Flint Bishop LLP. Cook jointly heads the practice with associate Marie Cooper. The practice also handles wills, inheritance tax and Court of Protection work and succession planning for family businesses. The group also has experience in care home planning.

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East Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Nottingham and Derby
Leading individuals

Tom Bower - Knights PLC

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

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP fields a ‘top-flight’ practice that is ‘extremely capable and very diligent’. The team acts for commercial and residential clients on portfolio management and restructuring transactions, real estate finance and plot sales, in addition to having a strong track record advising investor and developer clients. The practice was bolstered by the recruitment of planning and environment specialist Pritpal Singh Swarn from Wright Hassall LLP. Other key figures include senior partner and practice head Tom Bower and Karen Herbert, who are noted for their ‘knowledge and tenacity’; Richard Wyvill, who is ‘an experienced shopping centre expert’; and Satpaul Dard , who is ‘incredibly fast-working whilst maintaining an excellent level of detail and service’. Dard recently led advice for Blue Inc on the acquisition of the business and assets of A. Levy & Son involving 125 prime leasehold properties from the company’s administrators. Erin Vickers and Siobhan Smyth are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Tom Bower - Spearing Waite LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP’s expertise encompasses domestic and European procurement contracts, especially in the tourism and leisure sector, retail development projects, and renewable energy projects, with an emphasis on anaerobic digester plants. Rail sector projects and international engineering contracts are other focus areas for the practice, which is headed by Piet van Gelder . Recent work includes advising Bernhards Sports Surfaces on a final account claim in the Technology and Construction Court in relation to the installation of a 3G artificial soccer pitch at Whyteleafe Football Club, Surrey. It also acted for Bailgate Court on the negotiation and drafting of construction contracts for a residential conversion project. Other clients include Submarine Manufacturing & Products and new client SIG.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP combines ‘great service’ with ‘excellent advice’ and is particularly active for national retail clients, especially in landlord and tenant disputes, but also undertakes work for property developers and investors, house builders, charities and high-net-worth individuals. While Michael Lawrence left the firm, new practice head Rachael McConaghie joined from Sherrards Solicitors LLP and recently led advice for a retail client on a claim against a landlord following the release of asbestos in one of its stores as a consequence of ceiling repair works. Travis Perkins, Dunelm and Glenstone Property are also clients.

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East Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Spearing Waite LLP

The ‘impeccable’ practice at Spearing Waite LLP combines ‘timely responses and attention to detail’ with ‘practical advice in line with the bigger commercial picture’. The practice has a marked litigation focus, with trade mark instructions a key area of expertise, in particular for clients from the creative industries and media sectors in the East Midlands. Practice head and ‘tenacious litigator’ John Buckby, who is also a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, is ‘prompt’ and ‘thorough’ and ‘goes above and beyond to get the best results’. In addition to successfully assisting Happy Pet Products with a trade mark opposition at the European Intellectual Property Office, the department also advised Bluespur on several trade mark applications as well as on negotiations with a competing US business looking to expand into the UK with a mark similar to one of Bluespur’s marks. Other clients include Californian Stitch, Fakro Group and Jon Burgerman.

Leading individuals

John Buckby - Spearing Waite LLP

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

Spearing Waite LLP

Spearing Waite LLP’s sports practice acts for a large spectrum of clients, from major clubs to national sports governing bodies all the way to community-based sports teams. With Andrew Rowell at the helm, the caseload has a strong employment imprint, but the practice also assists with the protection and management of intellectual property portfolios and the drafting and enforcement of commercial contracts. Recent highlights include supporting Leicester City Football Club with day-to-day employment advice on top of assisting Leicestershire County Cricket Club with employment law issues and changes to the club’s corporate governance structure. The practice also acted for The Leicester Tigers on the club’s trade mark portfolio. Rothley Park Cricket Club is also a client.

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Further information on Knights plc

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

East Midlands

Offices in Derby and Leicester

North West

Offices in Chester, Hale, and Manchester

South East

Offices in Oxford, Thame, and Abingdon

West Midlands

Offices in Newcastle-under-Lyme

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