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TLT

ONE REDCLIFF STREET, BRISTOL, BS1 6TP, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0333 006 0000
DX:
7815 BRISTOL
Email:
Web:
www.tltsolicitors.com
Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester and 1 more

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

TLT

TLT’s ‘dynamic’ corporate group specialises in fundraising and M&A for clients in the renewable energy and retail sectors, as well as private equity investments and corporate restructuring and turnaround mandates, while the commercial practice provides support to clients in the retail, consumer goods, leisure, energy and financial services sectors. John Wood heads the corporate side of the department and advised Savills on its acquisition of GBR Phoenix Beard Holdings, and assisted the same client with its investment in real estate start-up YOPA. In another highlight, Alice Gardner advised Briefing Media on its acquisition of French company Global Data Systems. On the commercial side, ‘heavyweight commercial lawyer’ Perran Jervis acted for WHSmith in connection with a commercial JV regarding the operation of post offices within the client’s stores; Jervis is also acting for Sainsbury’s in relation to a collaboration with Euro Garages for the operation of a national chain of petrol station forecourt convenience stores. Commercial practice head Bill Hull assisted Merlin Entertainments with the commercial aspects of its $34.4m investment in Big Bus Tours.

Leading individuals

John Wood - TLT

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

TLT’s tax department ‘compares favourably’ to its South West competition. Practice head Nathan Williams, who splits his time between the firm’s Bristol and London offices, is noted for his ‘detailed knowledge’ of tax issues connected with M&A, private equity transactions, reorganisations, fund formation and joint ventures. He also has experience acting for borrowers in relation to the banking tax issues associated with loan facilities; as an example, he acted for BGL Group on withholding taxes in relation to a £130m revolving credit facility and another £240m securitisation facility. The tax team was also involved in a large cross-disciplinary matter regarding Swan Housing Association’s £250m Tower Hamlets regeneration project, advising on the SDLT and VAT planning, as well as corporation tax and charity tax issues related to a joint venture structure. Ben Watson is also recommended.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

TLT handles a range of competition law issues, from merger control to state aid, with particular focus on the retail, consumer goods, financial services and energy sectors. The Bristol group has seen increased activity in cartel and market investigations and regulatory matters, working in conjunction with the firm’s London office. Miles Trower heads the competition department and is instructed by a household name food retailer to advise on a UK and EU merger analysis regarding a proposed transaction in the grocery sector. Trower also provides legal training to UK retail networks covering ongoing competition compliance. Bill Hull specialises in competition law and public procurement and is advising an industry association on practices concerning the gathering and dissemination of market data following a CMA investigation into the aggregates market. The team also assists listed companies with day-to-day competition and antitrust matters and has represented a multitude of corporates before the CMA and other regulatory authorities in relation to trading and distribution issues and other anti-competitive arrangements.

Leading individuals

Bill Hull - TLT

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South West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

The "second to none’ practice at TLT delivers ‘quick and sound advice’ to a number of large estates on estate management licensing applications, including changes of designated premises supervisors (DPS), manager variations to layout, transfers and gaming machine applications. The ‘nationally recognised’ and ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ team has an exceptionally ‘wide range of expertise’, advising clients from a broad range of sectors, including pub companies, restaurants, bars, clubs, brewers, festivals, hotels, visitor attractions, conference venues, galleries, theatres and retailers. Practice head and ‘force of nature’ Matthew Phipps ‘works extremely hard for his clients and obtains excellent results’. An ‘industry leader’, acts for Punch Taverns, Glastonbury Music Festival, Barburrito, Hawthorn Leisure, SA Brain & Company, Las Iguanas and Olympia London. Highlights included advising Greene King Pub Partners on a case in relation to a licence suspension following serious trouble outside a pub – assisting with the summary review and a final review hearing for the premises. Other highlights saw the team assisting WH Smith with the application of new premises licences for M&S Simply foods and acting for YUM! businessess KFC and Pizza Hut Delivery in the application of a new premises licence for the sale of hot food and hot drinks, including advising on how to deal with a CCTV requirement that might have put KFC and Pizza Hut Delivery in breach of data protection laws. The firm also acted for the Boomtown Festival for an application to increase the capacity at the premises and to amend conditions on the face of its premises licence.

Leading individuals

Matthew Phipps - TLT

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

TLT

Made up of ‘high-calibre professionals with good strength in depth’, TLT’s disputes team regularly handles multi-jurisdictional claims across a variety of sectors, but has particular experience of retail and financial services litigation. Highly regarded practice co-head Chris Owen represented the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in a series of claims regarding destruction of property following the London riots in 2011; recovery claims were heard by a panel of Supreme Court judges, who ruled unanimously in favour of Owen’s client. In an example of its international capabilities, the practice group represents The Union and President of India in a politically-charged dispute with the High Commissioner of Pakistan concerning £35m held in a British bank account. The group also has a specialised mediation service and is also developing expertise in pensions litigation and energy disputes. Edmund Fiddick is acting for the trustees of the Wandel & Goltermann Retirement Benefits Scheme on a declaration of the validity and effect of various deeds and a professional negligence claim. Jonathan Hoey specialises in banking and finance litigation and jointly heads the department.

Leading individuals

Chris Owen - TLT

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

TLT handles a range of debt recovery matters including mortgage repossessions, the sale of repossessed property, the appointment of receivers and unsecured debt recovery. Graham Walters leads the practice and has extensive experience acting for banks, mortgage lenders and LPA receivers in mortgage-related disputes. Richard Hayllar acts for a number of high street banks and fixed charge receivers, and Deborah Sheldon has experience of a range of recovery matters. The firm is known for its specialised financial services litigation capabilities. Jonathan Hoey focuses on banking and financial services advice and contentious banking issues. Notable clients include Barclays Banks, Lloyds Banking Group and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

TLT regularly competes with City firms and has continued to expand its banking and financial services team, recruiting corporate banking and restructuring specialist Richard Clark from Burges Salmon LLP. The banking department has particular expertise in advising investment-grade borrower clients and is active in the energy and real estate sectors. Known for providing ‘exceptional customer service’, Jon Stewart advised BGL Group on its £130m revolving credit facility and £240m securitisation facilities; he also acted for WHSmith on £240m of revolving credit facilities. On the lender side, Stewart acted for AIB Group UK on £33m of forward funding facilities provided to Empiric Student Property. Gary Roscoe primarily acts for lender clients in the energy sector, such as Aurium Capital, which he advised on multiple renewable energy project finance transactions. Roscoe’s other clients include British Solar Renewables, Triodos Bank and Energy Saving Trust.

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

TLT (Bristol)

TLT’s insolvency practice has ‘great strength-in-depth’ and is ‘one of the best technical teams in the South West’. The Bristol-based department has grown in recent years, and brought on Richard Clark from Burges Salmon LLP in 2017. The ‘commercially minded’ James Forsyth acts for some of the largest accountancy and insolvency firms; he acted for Deloitte in its role as administrators of Riley’s Sports Group concerning £5m of property in Twickenham, and in a dispute brought by the landlord of the property in question. Forsyth acted for KPMG and Smith & Williamson as the administrators of retail group My Local, which was one of the largest insolvencies in Bristol in 2016. With over 20 years of insolvency experience, Peter Carney is assisting a Plc in negotiations with regulatory agencies and dividend payments to institutional shareholders. Also recommended are Abigail Hadfield and Maria Connolly, who has extensive experience of the commercial property aspects of insolvencies. Other clients include PwC, Grant Thornton and FRP Advisory.

Leading individuals

Peter Carney - TLT

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

TLT

TLT undertakes complex advisory work, including on issues relating to TUPE, large-scale reorganisations, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and industrial relations. The team has experience in handling board-level exits as well as benefits scheme-related matters. ‘Star’ associate Siobhan Fitzgerald, who gives ‘unequivocal and balanced advice’, advised a large housing association on its negotiations with a trade union, interpreted the collective agreements with that union, and assisted with senior exits as well as with changes to key terms and conditions for the entire staff. Practice head Stuart McBride acted for Brothers Drinks Company on the employment aspects of its multimillion-pound acquisition of a historic cider production site, negotiating the provisions of the sale and purchase agreement. Another highlight was providing training and support on the new Senior Manager Regime for the in-house staff of two major high street retail banks, including advice on updating the contracts for senior staff and whistleblowing. The practice operates across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on retail, financial services and housing; clients include Imperial Tobacco, Sainsbury’s, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, and Symphony Housing. Esther Smith is ‘commercial’ and gives ‘business-focused advice’.

Leading individuals

Stuart McBride - TLT

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

TLT advises corporate clients, directors and individuals on a broad range of health and safety issues, with particular expertise in handling complex multi-jurisdictional prosecutions. The ‘outstanding’ team advises clients on the improvement of their policies, including advice in relation to driving at work and on noise abatement. Asbestos-related health and safety issues, such as handling contribution claims for asbestos exposure and asbestos management, are particular areas of strength, as are product safety matters, including health and safety regulations around advertisement promotions and the classification of products as medicinal products. The practice regularly undertakes work for national pub companies. Practice head Kerry Gwyther, who provides ‘good tactical advice’, has experience in handling investigations and prosecutions from a variety of regulatory bodies, including the HSE, the Environment Agency, the Office of Fair Trading, the Department of Trade and Industry, Trading Standards and the Food Standards Agency. Clients come from a broad range of sectors, including environmental remediation, charities, waste management, energy and transport. The practice’s client list includes Glastonbury Festivals, Punch Taverns, Merlin Entertainments Group and Barclays.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

TLT advises on scheme governance, SIPPs and SSASs, and public sector pension issues. The practice, which regularly handles asset-backed funding arrangements, multi-national restructurings, and flexible buy-ins, has a specialist investment team. It provides an extranet to its clients which includes an interactive trust deed and rules in order to help trustees fulfil the requirements of good governance. Sasha Butterworth heads the group, which includes James Dean. She led the team in advising the trustees of a large well-known insurance company on a defined benefit pension scheme with over £100m pounds in assets. The team also advised on the pensions aspects of the strategic reorganisation of a large FTSE-listed company’s corporate group. Other clients include WHSmith and the Co-operative Group.

Leading individuals

Sasha Butterworth - TLT

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South West: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

TLT provides ‘excellent technical and strategic advice’ and is noted for its ‘ability to offer pragmatic solutions when dealing with complex issues’. The service level is ‘excellent’ and the ‘very client-centric’ team is ‘very experienced’, delivering specialist advice on claims in the financial services, corporate, pensions and construction sectors. The team works with the firm’s litigation practice on matters in relation to fraud and banking recovery claims and has experience in advising on the insurance aspects of real estate transactions and infrastructure projects. Additionally, it is adept at resolving matters through the use of alternative dispute resolution, mostly mediation. Neil Franklin, who shows ‘excellent leadership’, is co- head of the professional negligence team and specialises in professional negligence in the financial services sector. Other co-head Richard Hall specialises in property-related professional negligence. The practice recently acted for a major high street clearing bank in a complex £15m claim against an international company of valuers and solicitors regarding negligent advice given in relation to a property development loan. The case involved issues of fraud and various title issues and was successfully settled via mediation, with the bank making a substantial recovery. The department also acted for another UK clearing bank in recovering losses suffered as a result of fraud across several mortgage accounts. Clients include RBS Group, UPS, and Avon Rubber plc.

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South West: Private client

Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

TLT’s ‘strong team’ shows ‘strong interest in its clients’, and is widely recognised as ‘one of the market leaders for complex divorce matters and financial remedy proceedings’. It is ‘outstanding in its standards of realistic advice to the client’. Natalie Drew is ‘very dynamic and personable’, ‘knows her cases inside out’ and ‘provides amazing backup to colleagues whenever required’. She specialises in high-value financial and Schedule 1 Children Act applications involving business, trust and international aspects, regularly in the High Court. The ‘efficient and intelligent’ associate Sarah Green advises on private law children matters including intractable contact disputes, sexual abuse allegations, fact-finding hearings and permanent removal from jurisdiction cases. The ‘exceptional and extremely talented’ David Wheeler has a specialist children practice and regularly advises on international cases; he is a High Court advocate, a trained mediator, and a collaborative lawyer. Joanna Newton and Terri Anson-Dean have ‘excellent client care skills’. ‘Superb’ associate Mark Sage specialises pension issues and high-net-worth financial cases with international elements.

Next generation lawyers

Mark Sage - TLT

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

TLT (Bristol)

TLT is ‘technically excellent’, ‘cost effective’ and ‘gets straight to the important points’. It has a well-established team, which is able to handle the full spectrum of private client work in the UK and internationally, supported by its London office, which focuses on acting for wealthy international families. The team is actively advising on the changes to non-domiciliary taxation and inheritance tax. Its clients include ultra-high-net-worth individuals from the banking industry and an impressive range of international private banks. Highlights included advising an ultra-high-net-worth UK resident family on the replacement of an offshore trust structure with a UK company partnership vehicle. The ‘excellent’ Patrick Wooddisse is ‘technically strong’ and ‘gives very clear advice’. Legal director David Wheeler is ‘a practitioner with real charm and gravitas who is excellent with clients’.

Leading individuals

Patrick Wooddisse - TLT

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

TLT is known for handling project finance and debt funding for large-scale projects and also advises energy funds on acquisitions and disposals. In addition, the department has advised on 40% of the successful tenders in the National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response programme through 2016. As an example of their standing in the energy storage space, the team advised Low Carbon Group on its successful tender and subsequent award for two battery storage sites – one in Kent and the other in Cumbria. Maria Connolly leads the energy and renewables department and acted for InfraRed Capital Partners on the disposal of its 29MW Twin Rivers wind farm to NTR Plc. She also advised on the acquisition of a 61MW solar site at planning consent stage.

Leading individuals

Maria Connolly - TLT

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South West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

TLT (Bristol)

TLT’s recent work covers project finance, data protection, renewable energy transactions and reorganising council-owned Teckal subsidiaries. Bill Hull has a wealth of experience in acting for local authorities on public procurement, while David Isaacson specialises in commercial property investment. Clients include the City of London, North West Legal Consortium, Somerset County Council and London Borough of Lambeth.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Bristol
Commercial property: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

TLT

The ‘commercial and pragmatic’ real estate team at TLT attracts praise for its ‘continual efforts to improve the way it works’. The real estate department is among the largest at the firm and handles the full range of property matters, including commercial and residential development, investment and finance, and property portfolio management. Julian Mant led a team advising Fitness First Clubs on the real estate, corporate and commercial aspects of its £70m sale of 13 fitness locations to The Gym Group and Greenwich Leisure. In another highlight, David Smithen led a cross-departmental team acting for Matthew Clark Wholesale, Conviviality and A2 Contracting on the site purchase, development, leasing and ongoing investment of a 40,000 sq ft distribution warehouse. Maria Connolly heads the practice and specialises in the property aspects of large energy and infrastructure projects. Andrew Glynn, who specialises in property investment and asset management, advised Cadbury Pension Trust on the multimillion-pound sale of a high-street retail unit in Startford-upon-Avon.

Leading individuals

Julia Lucas - TLT

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

For some, TLT’s expertise in contentious and non-contentious work makes it ‘one of the best construction practices in the South West’. The team has noted specialisms in public sector procurement work, and also has experience of the energy and renewables sector. Department head Simon Goss has extensive experience of non-contentious and contentious construction matters and has acted for multiple London boroughs throughout 2016 and 2017. He leads a team that includes ‘excellent negotiator’ Neel Mehta, who handles the gamut of non-contentious issues for a number of large construction companies and developer clients; and construction disputes specialist Tom Wrzesien, whose clients include entities in the energy and education sectors, as well as large construction companies. Galliford Try Construction (UK), EDF Energy and Midas Construction are among the team’s key clients.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

TLT’s environment team specialises in domestic and EU regulatory compliance, property-related issues concerning waste regulation and contamination, and renewable energy related issues. The regulatory practice is spearheaded by Kerry Gwyther, who represented Glastonbury Festival 2014 Limited in relation to a negligence claim brought by the Environment Agency. Gwyther also acted for a former director of Churngold Waste and Recycling regarding an investigation and prosecution by the Environment Agency’s national environmental crime team. Katherine Evans has experience of environmental issues arising out of property and planning and also has expertise in mining and mineral work. Associate Fergus Charlton assists clients with the environmental aspects of planning projects and acts for clients in the renewables and minerals sectors. Duncan Reed, who has experience of environmental prosecutions and regulatory compliance, is also recommended. Notable clients include Grid Battery Storage, InfraRed Capital Partners and WELink Energy Investments UK.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

The planning department at TLT has wide-ranging expertise in the renewables, retail and leisure and housing sectors, and also handles CPOs and work involving community assets. Headed by Katherine Evans and working in close co-operation with the firm’s real estate team, the planning department is handling the planning aspects of InfraRed Capital Partners’s disposal of the Twin Rivers Wind Farm. In another key matter, Evans is advising Peabody Trust on planning issues arising from several residential and mixed-use development schemes, and is advising London Borough of Enfield and New Ladderswood LLP in relation to a major regeneration project. On the contentious side, the planning team is acting for a public body in relation to compensation claims following the compulsory acquisition of land for a highly publicised transport infrastructure project. Other key clients include Persimmon Homes, WHSmith, BBC and British Solar Renewables.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

The property litigation department at TLTcompares very favourably’ to other teams in the South West and is singled out for its sector strengths in the areas of leisure, retail, housing, energy and financial services. Mark Routley heads the practice and is noted for his ‘knowledge, professionalism and likability’. Routley advises Covent Garden Market Authority on the landlord and tenant aspects of the redevelopment of a 52-acre site at Nine Elms in London. The practice is also advising Greene King on the introduction of the new Pubs Code, which created an independent adjudicator to arbitrate disputes among the six biggest pub-owning businesses in the UK. The team’s public sector workload has grown in 2016 and 2017; Alex Payne is representing London Borough of Lambeth in a £375,000 County Court claim for damages. Kane Kirkbride, who focuses on housing disputes, and acts primarily for registered providers and housing associations.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

TLT (Bristol)

The social housing department at TLT acts primarily for housing developers and handles social housing related acquisitions and regeneration projects. Department head Paul Butterworth provides ongoing advice to Swan in relation to the £250m regeneration of a 1960s housing estate in Tower Hamlets. He is also assisting Notting Hill Housing with the purchase of 550 properties for the purpose of renovation and use for social housing. Butterworth and associate Isabelle Clement are acting for Aster Communities and Aster Homes on the acquisition of 503 affordable housing units across ten schemes in the South West. The department’s dedicated plot sales practice acts for housing groups such as Knightstone Housing Association, Catalyst Housing and Swan Housing Group on high-volume plot sales. Other clients include local authorities.

Next generation lawyers

Isabelle Clement - TLT

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

TLT (Bristol)

TLT is singled out for its ‘very high standard of service and cost effective commercial legal advice’, displaying ‘particular knowledge of and experience in the retail sector’. Demonstrating this, it handled, for C. & J. Clark, the procurement from Accenture of a global e-commerce platform and related services to support its global retail operations. Practice head James Touzel has an established reputation for handling large procurements and outsourcings for national and international clients, covering IT and telecoms systems as well as cloud and managed services. He is a key adviser to Merlin Entertainments, helping it implement a series of IT programmes including the SaaS global asset management system, a global ticketing platform and its Oracle SaaS solutions service. Other highlights include advising Sainsbury’s on the procurement of enterprise cloud platforms, acting for WHSmith on both the renegotiation of its agreements with BT for in-store telecoms networks as well as the renegotiation of agreements with Aptos on the delivery of a global point of sale platform, and assisting The Co-operative Group on a range of IT and telecoms transformation programmes. Other names to note include Perran Jervis, who is ‘a strong heavyweight commercial lawyer’, Chris Owen, who is ‘an excellent litigator’ and Dan Read, who is ‘extremely good and highly capable of handling big IT projects’.

Leading individuals

James Touzel - TLT

Next generation lawyers

Dan Read - TLT

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

TLT (Bristol)

TLT acts for a range of blue-chip clients and household name brands including WHSmith, Parragon Books, BGL Group and JKS Restaurants. The team manages Universal Enterprises’ trade mark portfolio and recently represented it in a trade mark infringement claim at the Indian Intellectual Property Office. Other recent instructions include advising on IP rights issues in commercial contracts and assisting clients with the IP aspects of multimillion-pound M&A mandates. James Touzel and legal director Jo Pritchard are the main contacts.

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