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Pinsent Masons LLP

1 PARK ROW, LEEDS, LS1 5AB, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0113 244 5000
Fax:
Fax 0113 244 8000
DX:
26440 LEEDS-28
Email:
Web:
www.pinsentmasons.com

Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s advice is ‘always pragmatic and demonstrates a good grasp of the operational issues involved in even the most complex transactions’. The team, which ‘has exceptional in-depth knowledge and an excellent ability to leave no stone unturned’, is headed by Andrew Black, who handles cross-border transactions and regularly acts for publically listed companies in the UK and North America. He recently advised Central Square Holdings on its acquisition of Styles & Wood. Andrew Kerr is praised as ‘extremely commercial’; he acted for DCC on the disposal of its environmental business to Exponent, advised IGT on its combined business and share acquisition of Zest Gaming, and assisted Exertis with its acquisition of the Hammer group. Other key names include legal directors Catherine Hemsworth and Michelle Kershaw, who handle M&A and private equity transactions; senior associate Joanna Jowitt, who is ‘passionate about her work and a pleasure to work with’, and legal director Lisa Harley, who focuses on the IT sector. -Martin Priestley joined Mills & Reeve LLP.

Leading individuals

Andrew Kerr - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Joanna Jowitt - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

John Christian leads Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘exceptional’ practice, which has notable expertise in property taxation and real estate structuring, private equity issues and incentives plans and acting for clients in the education, health and financial services sectors. In a recent highlight, Christian advised Legal & General Capital on the tax elements of its acquisition of Renaissance Villages from Helical; he also assisted Axa Investment Managers with its acquisition of Retirement Villages Group, handled the tax aspects of Jacobs Holding’s acquisition of Southern Dental Group, and acted for Livingbridge on the tax aspects of its second MBO of Giacom Holdings. DCC, Mayfair Capital Investment Management, UDG Healthcare and the University of London are also clients. Associate Andrew McCarthy acts for private equity, dental and care home clients, and legal director Suzannah Crookes is the main contact for share plans and incentives issues; Crookes recently advised Imperial Brands on its global share plans.

Leading individuals

John Christian - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Andrew McCarthy - Pinsent Masons LLP

Suzannah Crookes - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial litigation: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘incredibly reliable’ team provides ‘clear and concise advice’ thanks to its ‘excellent industry knowledge and technical expertise’. Department head Andrew Masterson is ‘brilliant’; he handles product liability, pensions and IT disputes. The team also includes James McBurney, who is ‘commercially minded and a pleasure to work with’; Julian Sladdin, who leads the firm’s universities disputes practice, and legal director Louise Nahon, who ‘quickly absorbs complicated facts and gives great advice with a clear strategy’. In a recent highlight, McBurney acted for Hamad M Aldrees & Partners in a claim against Rotex Europe relating to the supply of allegedly deficient mineral separating units; other work includes Sladdin defending the University of Sheffield in a claim brought by a former student who was removed from a course due to homophobic comments made on social media, and acting for Birkbeck College, University of London in multiple disputes with its former Executive Dean including a Part 8 claim relating to the College’s decision to suspend and dismiss the individual.

Next generation lawyers

Louise Nahon - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘absolutely excellent’ and ‘stands out in the region’ for corporate, real estate and banking transactions. It recently acted for EMIS Group on its refinancing, advised a UK clearing bank on its funding package to Proactis Group for its reverse takeover of Perfect Commerce, and assisted two UK clearing banks with a £70m extension to existing facilities provided to VP and its subsidiaries. Mayfair Capital, SIG, DCC and Harworth Estates Group are also clients. Philip Scott leads the department and acts for borrowers, banks and other financial institutions; other key names include legal director Sean Houlihan, who leads the real estate finance team; legal director Stephen Woods, who leads the derivatives team and advises on debt capital markets, structured finance and securitisation transactions; and senior associate Matthew Claydon-Stead, who focuses on corporate financings and is ‘thorough and helpful in his approach to issues’.

Leading individuals

Philip Scott - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sean Houlihan - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘strong and experienced team provides a first-class service’ to banks, asset-based lenders, insolvency practitioners, private equity houses, distressed investors and clients in the public sector; examples include Begbies Traynor, Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton. Recent highlights include advising FRP Advisory on the pre-packaged sale of the Triton Global group to DWF, assisting KPMG as administrator with the pre-pack sale of A. Jones & Sons and Gordon Scott to Endless, and acting for Deloitte as administrators of Covpress Assembly. Richard Tripp leads the group and ‘exhibits excellent legal knowledge and efficiency making him a truly strong player in the field’; clients also praise legal director Dawn Allen, who is ‘incredibly approachable, knowledgeable and an absolute pleasure to deal with’.

Next generation lawyers

Dawn Allen - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's employment team has strength in the retail, insurance and financial services sectors, with key clients including ASDA, RBS, HSBC Bank, Direct Line and RSA Insurance. Leveraging its employment expertise in support of corporate transactions, the team advised on employment aspects of Zurich's sale of its UK workplace pensions and savings business to Lloyds Banking Group, as well as Legal & General's acquisition of Inspired Villages. In a high-profile employment tribunal claim the practice is representing UK Sport in relation to a discrimination and whistle-blowing allegations brought by former Olympian Jessica Varnish. The team also acted for SIG plc in relation to a claim by the former managing director of SIG's business in Saudi Arabia, which required consideration of the territorial scope of UK legislation, as well as reference to the European Convention of Human Rights. Practice head Jon Fisher is also instructed by a major UK produce supplier to provide strategy in an investigation into National Minimum Wage compliance by HMRC. Changes to team have included Christopher Booth's move to Clarion and Christopher Mordue's departure to Eversheds Sutherland.

Leading individuals

Jon Fisher - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP Leeds's health and safety practice is 'among the best' in the region. It acts for corporate clients in both contentious matters as well as in preventative ongoing and regulatory advice.  The 'conscientious and clever' and 'ultra-efficient' legal director Sarah Taylor heads the 'outstanding' health and safety team based in Leeds, which also affords the support of the firm's national practice led by Kevin Bridges. With Taylor's 'wealth of retail related safety experience, clients have considered her to be at the 'top of her game' in relation to the retail and food sector. The team's reputation has resulted in new client wins in this industry, as well as continued instructions from well-known brands such as Asda Stores. Other clients include William Hill, Aida Engineering and Balfour Beatty.

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

The pensions and long-term savings department at Pinsent Masons LLP, headed up by Jacqui Timmins, handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious pensions matters. Tom Barton leads the firm's national defined contribution pensions group, with key clients including the Manitowoc Pension Plan, the Nobia Pension Plan and the Schneider Electric DC Trust. The practice also has expertise representing large companies and defined benefit schemes, master trusts and financial services firms. The team acted for the trustees of the Hickson UK Group Pension Scheme to deliver a consolidation of the highly complex scheme rules. In another work highlight, it is also instructed by the trustees of the Croda Group Pension Scheme to advise on investment of the schemes substantial assets. The group also boasts a strong dispute resolution practice, Andrew Masterson and Julian Sladdin are key names to note for pensions litigation.

Leading individuals

Jacqui Timmins - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Private client

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

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's charities practice has expertise advising university clients on charity law issues. In this sector the team represents University of Sheffield, Coventry University and the University of Sussex. It is also instructed by a London-based Russell Group university on a shared equity scheme, to provide financial support to staff to enable the purchase of homes within a reasonable distance of the university. The team also assisted an international insurance company setting up a charity to hold shares in a group which, under French regulatory law, the company could not itself own. Chris Thomas took on the role of head of the practice from former partner Janet Hoskin, who stepped down to the position of consultant.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's private wealth practice handles a range of trust and estate planning and probate matters with a particular regional strength in commercial trusts. The team acts for insurance companies, banks, pension providers and government agencies on a range of trust-related matters, with Scottish Widows, Aegon Plc and Canada Life all clients of group. Legal director Chris Thomas heads up the practice following former practice head, Janet Hoskin, stepping down from the partnership to take on a consultancy role. Thomas is leading advice to a leading UK bank's  trust company on review of its business, taking into account requirements under the ring-fenced legislation, prior to its implementation in 2019. The department is also recognised for its tax specific trusts and international clients. 

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Projects, energy and natural resources (including PFI)

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘absolutely brilliant’ team is ‘expansive in its coverage of the energy sector’ advising on conventional power, renewable energy, oil and gas and nuclear matters. Melanie Grimmitt leads the practice and has ‘intellectual strength combined with experience, knowledge, drive, energy and enthusiasm to deliver large and complex projects in the most impressive way you can imagine’; other key individuals include construction and engineering transactional specialist Stacey Collins, who is ‘a leader in the field’ with ‘a great ability to apply his exceptional knowledge of the law to realistic situations’; energy infrastructure expert Mark Harris, John Bruce, who regularly handles waste-to-energy projects; and planning specialist Jonathan Riley. Recent highlights include advising Tyneside Energy Storage on a battery storage project, assisting BH EnergyGap with the development of an energy-from-waste facility, and acting for Eggborough Power on its procurement of new build combined cycle gas turbine projects at Eggborough.

Leading individuals

Melanie Grimmitt - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Infrastructure
Infrastructure - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘absolutely brilliant’ practice is ‘incredibly punctual, knowledgeable and commercial’ and ‘approaches every project with the aim of getting the best possible outcome for its clients and won’t let anything get in its way’. ‘Rain maker’ Kate Orviss is the key name for healthcare projects and ‘is a strong communicator who can put anyone at ease’; she has experience in PFI and PPP mandates and social infrastructure projects. John Bruce handles complex infrastructure and energy projects at a national and international level with particular experience in the energy-from-waste sector, Melanie Grimmitt focuses on energy projects, Stacey Collins is a construction and engineering expert and senior associate Gemma Wilson specialises in PPP work. Recent highlights include advising on the implementation of the Indo UK Institute of Health Programme, assisting the University of Essex with its procurement of a student accommodation development and acting for BH Energygap on its delivery of a thermal treatment plant in Walsall.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

The universities and higher education group at Pinsent Masons LLP handles a range of matters including regulatory issues, establishing campuses abroad, IT procurement and lending. Victoria Goddard heads up the practice which includes Julian Sladdin who specialises in litigation for university clients. The team was instructed by the University of Sussex on the £200m procurement of student accommodation. The team advised the same client on the procurement of IT integration services. In a high-profile representation, Sladdin led a team which successfully defended the University of Sheffield in a sensitive dispute relating to the removal from a course of a MA student following discriminatory comments posted on social media. Martin Priestley joined Mills & Reeve LLP.

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

The local government practice at Pinsent Masons LLP benefits from being able to leverage its national network of offices, as well as its significant Leeds-based team. Anne Bowden heads up the national practice from the Leeds office and is currently instructed by South Tyneside Council on ts £100m regeneration project. This required advise on procurement of the development partner as well as planning, highways and compulsory purchase aspects. The team is instructed on some of the regions largest and most complex development projects and continues to act for Leeds City Council on its East Leeds Extension to deliver 2000 new homes and an associated major new road. Jonathan Riley is leading this matter, which includes negotiating with developers and landowners and advising on planning applications. 

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Planning specialist Jonathan Riley leads the ‘pragmatic, commercial and knowledgeable’ team in Pinsent Masons LLP’s Leeds office following Jonathan Brocklehurst’s move to its Manchester base. Riley regularly handles housing and infrastructure projects, while Victoria Goddard is the key name for development work particularly in the education sector; Andrew Quinlan handles property investment and development work, Anne Bowden focuses on housing regeneration projects, Richard Daffern is an expert in real estate investments and James Long specialises in private healthcare investment mandates. Clients include Aviva Investors, Octopus Healthcare and L&G Capital. The team also advised AXA on its purchase of Retirement Village Group, assisted Grainger Land & Regeneration with the forward purchase of a build-to-rent development in Leeds and acted for the University of Sussex on its procurement of student accommodation buildings.

Leading individuals

Victoria Goddard - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Stephen Glass - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘market-leading’ department ‘cannot be faulted in any way’ and is praised for its ‘excellent industry knowledge, effective approach and seamless connection with its clients’. The practice is also recognised for its ‘extensive experience in the energy sector’ through the ‘absolutely brilliant’ Stacey Collins, oil and gas infrastructure specialist Mark Harris and Melanie Grimmitt, whose ‘intellectual strength and enthusiasm marks her out for exceptional advice on complex projects’. Recent mandates for the practice include Collins advising Drax Group on multiple open-cycle gas turbine development projects, John Williams assisting Samsung C&T with a contract relating to the design, procurement and construction of a $600m combined-cycle power plant in Turkey, and Grimmit acting for Eggborough Power on issues relating to a combined-cycle gas turbine project. Clients also praise Simon Plunkett, who is the key name for disputes and advisory work; he defended Cyden Homes in a high-profile case relating to the allocation of responsibility for concurrent delay, while Harris represented Walter Lilly & Co in High Court proceedings relating to the responsibility for delays regarding a residential development in Kensington and Chelsea.

Leading individuals

Mark Harris - Pinsent Masons LLP

Stacey Collins - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Legal director Helen Peters heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team in Leeds and is praised by clients as ‘an excellent communicator who is always open to considering new and innovative ways of achieving the client’s objectives’. She handles environmental issues at a UK, EU and international level with notable specialisms including the nuclear, manufacturing, energy, real estate, government agency and local authority sectors. The practice’s work encompasses permitting issues, contaminated land work, waste management, transactional advice and litigation; highlights included defending United Utilities Water in a claim for damages brought by Manchester Ship Canal Company relating to the client’s discharge of water and treated sewage in the Manchester Ship Canal; advising Drax Generation Developments and Drax Power on the environmental elements of its acquisition of four peaking plant power station projects and assisting L&G Capital with the environmental due diligence relating to its acquisition of Renaissance Care Villages from Helical. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, NuGeneration, E.ON UK and Veolia are also clients.

Leading individuals

Helen Peters - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP fields ‘an excellent team with a wide skillset across all elements of the planning field’. The ‘experienced, focused and professional’ Jonathan Riley heads the team, which is ‘easily the best for infrastructure projects’ and also assists with urban extensions, housing projects and retail planning mandates. Other key names include strategic planning adviser Jan Bessell, who is experienced in the energy, transport, commercial and residential mixed-use sectors; legal director Nick McDonald, who can ‘engage with clients at all levels to provide the right support and guidance’; and legal director Jo Miles, who focuses on residential and mixed-use developments. Recent highlights for the practice include acting for Leeds City Council on the first planning application associated with the East Leeds Extension and the delivery of an associated new dual carriageway, assisting Drax Generation Developments with the planning elements of its acquisition of four peaking plant power station projects, and advising South Gloucestershire Council on the delivery of 6000 new homes on a former BAE airfield.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has ‘an exceptionally strong regional presence and draws upon the quality and strength of the national practice in the property litigation space’. Key names in the Leeds office include ‘very able and enthusiastic’ team head Matthew Baker, who is ‘keen to fight the client’s corner’; and legal director Michael Smith, who is ‘highly diligent and has sound judgement’. The department is noted for its expertise in the energy, utility, waste and infrastructure sectors and handles rights to light disputes, vacant possession strategies, development disputes, trespass issues and judicial reviews. Recent highlights include defending United Utilities against Manchester Ship Canal Company regarding damages claims alleging trespass caused by the client’s discharge of water and treated sewage in the canal, representing Rachel Securities in a rent review arbitration, and acting for various clients in asset management issues including lease renewals, forfeiture actions, dilapidations and tenant insolvencies. Whitbread Group, House of Fraser, Aviva Investors and Sterling Capitol are also clients.

Leading individuals

Matthew Baker - Pinsent Masons LLP

Next generation lawyers

Michael Smith - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

Pinsent Masons LLP

Anne Bowden  heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s department, which also counts Kate Orviss  and legal director Stephen Glass as key practitioners; Bowden focuses on national housing schemes and work for local authorities, while Orviss handles PFI housing projects and Glass regularly acts for housebuilders on residential developments and funding structures. Recent highlights include advising the London Borough of Haringey on its procurement of a strategic investment and development partner for the Haringey Development Vehicle, acting for Leeds City Council on its deliverance of new homes in the East Leeds Extension, and assisting Westminster City Council with the development and letting arrangements for its flagship Sir Simon Milton University Technical College which is cross funded by the delivery of 47 residential units. The team is also handling a regeneration scheme opposite Clapham Junction station for the London Borough of Wandsworth and counts the Homes and Communities Agency as a key client. Lovell Partnerships, the London Borough of Hackney, Countryside Properties and Galliford Try Partnerships are also clients.

Leading individuals

Anne Bowden - Pinsent Masons LLP

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Yorkshire and the Humber: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘excellent’ department provides ‘an outstanding client service paired with broad knowledge and expertise that allows it to deliver its advice professionally and diligently’. The ‘highly experienced’ Andrew Masterson leads the contentious work while legal director Lisa Harley is the key name for non-contentious advice following Martin Priestley’s departure to Mills & Reeve LLP. Masterson handles IT disputes in the government and private sectors; his clients include Leeds Bradford Airport, Newcastle Building Society and Northgate Information Solutions. Harley advises on government outsourcing and IT projects with experience in the education sector; she recently assisted the University of Sussex with its procurement of a new student administration and records system. James McBurney regularly handles technology disputes and associate Laura Wilson is experienced in strategic projects and IT outsourcing mandates.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Pinsent Masons LLP

Louise Fullwood heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice, which handles national and cross-border IP transactions particularly in the public and infrastructure sectors. Recent mandates include advising Zurich Group on the IP elements of its disposal of its workplace pensions and savings business, assisting Westfield Europe with a contractual arrangement with virtual reality company The Void on the IP management issues surrounding the establishment of its Star Wars hyper-reality experience in two London retail spaces, and acting for Angle on an option agreement with Queen Mary University of London for an exclusive global licence for the use of its megakaryocyte IP. The team also acts on hard and soft IP litigation with experience in the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Victoria Bentley focuses on IP disputes with particular expertise in patent litigation and life sciences issues.

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Further information on Pinsent Masons LLP

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

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai

Australia

Offices in Sydney

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Germany

Offices in Munich and Dusseldorf

France

Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Iran

Ireland

Offices in Dublin

Northern Ireland

Offices in Belfast

North West

Offices in Manchester M3 and Manchester M3

Philippines

Qatar

Offices in Doha

South Africa

Offices in Johannesburg

Scotland

Offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow G2, Edinburgh EH3, Glasgow G2, and Edinburgh EH3

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

London

Offices in London EC2A, London EC1Y, and London EC4M

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