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Lester Aldridge LLP

RUSSELL HOUSE, OXFORD ROAD, BOURNEMOUTH, BH8 8EX, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01202 786161
Fax:
Fax 01202 786110
DX:
7623 BOURNEMOUTH
Email:
Web:
www.lesteraldridge.com
Bournemouth BH23, Bournemouth BH8, London, Southampton

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Corporate and commercial: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP is known for acting for SMEs in the software, healthcare, manufacturing and exporting sectors, and its corporate department is experienced in advising UK businesses on their international expansion efforts. In one particularly high-value example of the team’s cross-border capabilities, practice head Grant Esterhuizen acted for a group of shareholders on the £20m sale of the entire issued share capital of C4L Group Holdings to a Slovakian buyer. Similarly, Esterhuizen assisted Herb UK with the acquisition of the business and assets of Australia-based Goroncy PTY, which involved the establishment of an Australian subsidiary company. Alex Bilionis, who focuses on private equity matters and work for technology clients, is assisting the shareholders of a UK tech company with the sale of its issued share capital to an overseas buyer. Healthcare specialist Susan Cowan advised on investment and corporate agreements for a property and healthcare investor group. Edward Adamson is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Grant Esterhuizen - Lester Aldridge LLP

Next generation lawyers

Edward Adamson - Lester Aldridge LLP

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Commercial litigation: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

The five-partner litigation department at Lester Aldridge LLP focuses on the marine, defence and financial services sectors, and is experienced in High Court and appellate proceedings, as well as mediation and arbitration. Department head Michael Giddins is acting in a high-value, international contract dispute, and is also representing the claimant in a multimillion-pound LCIA arbitration. Giddins and Michael Veal, who specialises in commercial and employee fraud, are both dual-qualified in Ireland. Edward Foster focuses on banking disputes and is acting for a lender in connection with a commercial loan granted under fraudulent pretence. Chris Evans is noted for his expertise in financial services and IT sector disputes. In 2017, property litigator Kate Stewart joined the firm from Moore Blatch LLP.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP’s contentious banking practice has particular experience of consumer finance disputes involving consumer credit legislation and FCA regulations, and regularly advises on regulatory investigations in the motor finance industry. Practice head Ann Lloyd is a notable practitioner in captive motor finance, and regularly advises on cross-border recovery exercises. Notable clients include Volkswagen Financial Services UK, Toyota Financial Services UK, MotoNovo Finance and R Raphael & Sons. The department also acts for start-up and internet-based lenders, such as Buy as You View Limited and Clearly Loans Limited.

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP fields ‘a well-managed team’, which is ‘responsive and quick’ and provides advice on a broad range of employment law issues, from collective redundancy procedures to disciplinary matters, the employment aspects of business restructurings and day-to-day issues. The team has a particularly strong focus on clients from the care sector, such as large regional care providers. Another area of expertise is advising on employment issues in insolvency-related matters; it acts on administrations and LPA receiverships as well as TUPE issues arising from the sale of insolvent businesses. Headed by Catharine Geddes, the practice is renowned for its ‘clarity in guidance’ and ‘very strong, detailed knowledge’. Evans is ‘excellent on all employment matters, particularly TUPE’ and Geddes provides ‘a highly valued safety net for clients’. Recent highlights include advising a professional communications and publishing company on an internal reorganisation and the potentially ensuing redundancies of staff working on differing contract terms. Another highlight was advising a Curtiss Wright company in relation to a collective redundancy procedure which involved a relocation of some of the work to a subsidiary in Germany. The matter required the team to advise the client on the prospect of success of potential claims by 25 employees who had contacted ACAS for the purpose of making claims of unfair dismissal and failure to inform and consult in relation to collective redundancy and TUPE.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP’s ‘highly professional and expert’ lawyers undertake both prosecution and defence work, acting for the HSE, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and local authorities such as Torbay Council, also advising commercial clients, in particular from the marine, construction and care sectors. The practice is noted for having ‘a wealth of experience’ and being ‘on top of its game’. Practice head and ‘seasoned proMichael Veal is ‘highly experienced and extremely knowledgeable’ with ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of both the law and procedure that will apply to it’ while being ‘practical and realistic in his approach to cases’. He ‘invariably demonstrates excellent judgement’. The team is extremely experienced in conducting prosecutions for the HSE, such as the prosecution of the St James Group and two others in relation to the collapse of a platform during construction of a tower block in Putney causing one fatality and two serious injuries. It also prosecuted the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in relation to the death of a patient after falling from a hospital trolley. Other work for the HSE includes prosecuting the St Austell Education Trust following an injury of a student in a science lesson and prosecuting Babcock DSG following the serious injury of a worker.

Leading individuals

Michael Veal - Lester Aldridge LLP

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South West: Insurance

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

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP has ‘a strong presence in the South West in personal injury litigation’ and is an ‘established, regional practice’ with ‘a wealth of experience’. The multi-lingual team’s range of expertise covers all major areas of personal injury law, in particular claims arising from brain and spine injuries which require intensive rehabilitation. Other specialisms include cases relating to industrial disease, defective products, sports, air and rail accidents, animals and claims brought by military personnel as well as claims arising from fatal accidents, bone fractures and amputations. ‘Extremely efficient’ practice head Tim Blackwell, who is ‘a very good communicator’, is ‘persistent in seeking the best outcome for the client’, providing ‘a great sense of reassurance’. Associate Stephen Norris is recommended for his tenacity and ‘keen eye for detail’.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 4

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP advises mostly claimants on both traditional professional negligence claims, such as claims against solicitors, accountants, independent financial advisers and surveyors, and on niche areas such as marine surveyor’s negligence. It is particularly adept at handling claims against accountants and independent financial advisors in relation to aggressive tax schemes. The team handles national and international claims and has experience in multi-party actions and high-value claims. Michael Giddins heads the practice.

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South West: Private client

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

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP is singled out for its ‘timely responses’, ‘commercial and practical advice’, ‘client-focused approach’, ‘excellent knowledge of charity law’, and ‘ability to best handle the charity commission in various circumstances’. ‘Highly experienced’ practice head Geoff Trobridge has ‘a commercial outlook and direct personal experience of working at the Charity Commission’. He acted for Careway Trust on a £1.25m sale of care homes. The contentious trusts and probate team, which includes Victoria Jones, represents a number of national and regional charities in protecting their charitable legacies; recent highlights include representing a national health charity in an urgent contested statutory will application in the Court of Protection. The practice also handles mergers and restructuring projects. The British Heart Foundation, the Stroke Association and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are clients. Geoff Thomas retired in 2017.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP has a strong profile representing charities, care homes, families and private clients in contentious estate administrations, will as well as trust disputes, and, increasingly, contentious Court of Protection matters. Practice head Victoria Jones specialises in handling charity legacy protection issues, cases involving vulnerable adults and matters relating to the Mental Capacity Act. Oliver Phipps specialises in probate with a particular focus on the administration of estates with assets located in multiple jurisdictions. Charities including the British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Association are also clients. Geoff Thomas retired in April 2017.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 2

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP is ‘one of the top firms in Bournemouth’, with, according to one client, an overall level of service provided and calibre of team that ‘remains unrivalled’ and a client base and level of expertise that ‘is comparable to that of a central London specialist family practice’. It is ‘a very safe pair of hands when it comes to any financial proceedings, capable of handling the most demanding of high-net-worth clients’. The firm has a growing practice in advising on pre- and post-nuptial agreements, catering to the concentration of wealthy individuals and families on the South Coast. It also has a strong presence in niche children law areas such as surrogacy and other alternative parenting structures. Jane Porterblends rigour and a strong client-focused approach with a healthy dose of pragmatism’, ‘a stand-out regional star’ that is ‘the match of any London-based matrimonial practitioner’. She has strong experience in advising on divorce matters involving family companies and pension schemes, and regularly acts in cohabitation claims and disputes relating to children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act. Porter is ably assisted by Joanne Clarke who is ‘an extremely competent and forward thinking family lawyer’. Clarke advises on surrogacy law and other related fertility law issues, and is a mediator, as is Davies who focuses on surrogacy law relating to same-sex couples.

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

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP is recommended for wealth planning as well as issues relating to taxation of foreign properties and successions of businesses. Private client team head Kurt Lee has strong expertise in inheritance and capital gains tax planning matters as well as the creation, running and breaking of trusts. The highly recommended Oliver Phipps specialises in probate with a particular focus on the administration of estates with assets located in multiple jurisdictions. Richard Light advises individuals and shareholders on tax planning, regularly handling trade sales and private equity transactions. Paula Shea is particularly skilled at advising elderly clients and assisting families with vulnerable children.

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South West: Public sector

Health
Health - ranked: tier 2

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

Lester Aldridge LLP is singled out for its ‘deep understanding of the NHS’, ‘excellent response times’, ‘value for money service’, and ‘ability to provide detailed explanations and real resolutions’. The team is ‘professional and sensitive’ and ‘applies common sense to the challenges facing the care sector’. Its healthcare regulatory practice regularly assists equity funds and lenders with handling due diligence on acquisitions and disposals of large care groups. Healthcare group head Peter Grose acts for a range of providers of, and investors in, care homes, specialist children’s homes and independent hospitals; he also represents care groups on their disputes with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and local authorities. Guy Morgan is ‘an outstanding lawyer with extensive knowledge and understanding of health sector and property law’. He is assisting Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust with the planning of a £150m mixed-use development which includes the construction of a new hospital, a primary school and large residential units. Associate Laura Guntrip has experience of public law judicial review proceedings within the care sector, and is particularly experienced at defending criminal prosecutions and regulatory enforcement action by the CQC. In 2016, she represented HC-One in the coroner’s inquest following the death of a nursing home resident who was given the wrong medication by an agency nurse. Registered Nursing Homes Association, National Care Association, National Fostering Agency and Keys Childcare are other clients.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire
Commercial property: Dorset and South Wiltshire - ranked: tier 1

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

The real estate department at Lester Aldridge LLP comprises ‘high-calibre individuals with a vast breadth of experience and knowledge’. The group, which has strengths in property investment and management, real estate finance and residential development, acts for a number of well-known clients in the telecoms, healthcare and marine port sectors. Mark Benham leads the department’s housebuilder practice and acted for McCarthy & Stone on the £6m acquisition of Churchfield Industrial Estate for the development of assisted living apartments. Benham advised the same client on the acquisition of land from Kent County Cricket Club. On the telecoms front, Suki Samra is providing ongoing advice to EE on network improvement matters. In an example of the team’s real estate finance capabilities, Samra is advising Aldermore Bank on secured lending transactions totalling more than £100m throughout 2016 and 2017. The department is headed by the ‘technically excellent and always availableMatthew Barrow, who splits his time between the Bournemouth and Southampton offices and focuses on secured lending, investment acquisitions and portfolio management. Other key figures include Roger Woolley and Guy Morgan, the latter of whom specialises in healthcare premises development.

Leading individuals

Suki Samra - Lester Aldridge LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Lester Aldridge LLP (Bournemouth)

The property litigation team at Lester Aldridge LLP is now led by Kate Stewart, who joined the team from Moore Blatch LLP, following the departure of Jenny Hermer, who left for a general counsel position. Stewart has experience of all areas of contentious landlord and tenant work and recently represented the tenant of a large industrial unit regarding the service of an invalid break notice. Stewart also acts for property investors, and is defending a series of offshore companies in a damages claim resulting from their interest in a property investment in London. Charlotte Wilson is also recommended.

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