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Michelmores LLP

WOODWATER HOUSE, PYNES HILL, EXETER, EX2 5WR, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01392 688688
Fax:
Fax 01392 360563
DX:
135608 EXETER-16
Email:
Web:
www.michelmores.com

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: The West Country
Corporate and commercial: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border corporate transactions and complex commercial agreements. Corporate department head Richard Cobb, who divides his time between Exeter and London, advised the shareholders of Cobell, a regional food and drink company, on the sale of its business to Germany-based Symrise. Additionally, Cobb acted for Haynes Publishing Group plc in its acquisition of certain business operations from CarweB, a subsidiary of US-owned Solera; a transaction which was triggered by a CMA investigation into a previous acquisition by Solera. Samantha Billingham acted for Kew Green Hotels on the disposals of two separate Holiday Inn hotels: one involving an Indian buyer, and the other involving a Thai buyer. In the energy space, Alexandra Watson acted for Downing in relation to its £15.3m sale of anaerobic digestion plant Vulcan Renewables to John Laing Environmental Assets Group. Watson also assisted a fund manager with its multimillion-pound investment into a large community energy project. Further, a team including Henry Taylor counselled Succession Group on 16 acquisitions in the 12 months leading up to December 2017. Other key clients include Girlings Retirement Rentals, Credit Reporting Agency and Zoeftig Group.

Next generation lawyers

Alexandra Watson - Michelmores LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP’s corporate tax director, Brian Garner, provides ongoing support to the firm’s corporate team in strategic M&A and MBO transactions and has developed expertise in share incentive programmes. Indeed, Garner advised Haynes Publishing Group plc on the structure and establishment of a global share incentive scheme, which was subsequently rolled out across the client’s US, Australian and Dutch network. The practice head also acted for Gro-Group in connection with its complex £22m sale to Mayborn Group, and provides ongoing support to Succession Group in relation to its acquisition strategy. Additional clients include Zoeftig Group and TJ International.

Leading individuals

Brian Garner - Michelmores LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP assists its corporate clients with regulatory compliance and CMA investigations, and is often instructed by local authorities and public sector organisations in state aid and public procurement mandates. Senior associate Michail Papadakis advised HaynesPro on its participation in a CMA investigation concerning a completed acquisition in relation to which the client was a third party; following applications to the regulator, the acquirer submitted undertakings-in-lieu to the CMA, which comprised certain business operations that were subsequently purchased by HaynesPro. Carol McCormack has acted for project bidders and tenderers in relation to construction projects and services contracts tendered by various NHS trusts. Further, Andrew Oldland represented a participant in a price-fixing cartel in a settlement negotiation with the CMA; Oldland splits his time between the firm’s London and Exeter offices.

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South West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP  is ‘a modern and well-run firm’ with a focus on fraud and corruption cases. It recently settled a case for Ticketus – a part of city fund Octopus Investments – recovering over £20m from the insolvent Glasgow Rangers Football Club. Clients come from a variety of sectors, such as real estate, management consulting, manufacturing, aerospace, defence and finance. It regularly deals with high value, cross-border matters and recently provided advice to an international manufacturer in relation to the implementation of new policies and procedures as well as assisting with an anti-corruption investigation. Senior partner Andrew Oldland QC heads the team and is experienced in advising financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals on financial regulation and complex anti-money laundering issues.

Leading individuals

Andrew Oldland QC - Michelmores LLP

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: The West Country
Commercial litigation: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP has ‘an established commercial litigation group that is branching out into more international work’, leading many clients to suggest that the team ‘may now be leaders of the pack, regionally’. In one cross-border matter, Jonathan Kitchin acted for a prominent Middle Eastern law firm to enforce a multimillion-pound Middle Eastern judgment in the UK High Court. In another key mandate, Sara Chisholm-Batten and Simon Barnett represented Intelsat Global Sales & Marketing in various claims against parties in African, Asian, European and American jurisdictions. Andrew Oldland is the team’s in-house barrister and is ‘very impressive indeed’; he is acting for a listed company in arbitral proceedings concerning a contractual dispute with a government agency. Also recommended are Tim Richards, who heads the Exeter-based team, and senior associate Jayne Clemens.

Leading individuals

Tim Richards - Michelmores LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP acts for government agencies and public bodies in relation to ongoing debt recoveries and also handles domestic and cross-border recovery and enforcement matters for corporate clients. As part of a large cross-border investigation, Simon Barnett and Sara Chisholm-Batten advised the Legal Aid Agency on a multimillion-pound action to recover monies paid to Blavo & Co for certain legal aid claims that could not be substantiated. Chisholm-Batten also assisted a multi-national satellite telecoms company with the enforcement and settlement of various cross-border claims relating to multimillion-dollar contractual debts. Tim Richards leads the commercial litigation team and oversees contested debt proceedings. Associates Bill Duncan and Ellen Yeates are active figures in the department.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

Acting for borrower and lender-side clients, Michelmores LLP has expertise in cross-border project finance and bilateral and syndicated lending transactions. Asheesh Das splits his time between the firm’s London and Bristol offices and advised Finnfund on the project financing for the construction of a $40m gas-fired power station in Argentina. Department head Charles Maunder counselled a high-street lender on its participation in a lending syndicate regarding the provision of a working capital loan for a well-known UK borrower. Further, Maunder and associate Anna Thompson acted for a borrower in the hospitality and leisure sector in relation to an unsecured revolving credit facility. Sally Rice heads the secured lending practice and has advised high-street banks and local authorities on various lending arrangements. St Austell Brewery Company and Rowe Estates and among the team’s key clients.

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

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP fields a ‘very strong’ insolvency practice which is regularly instructed in national, international, and regional restructuring and insolvency matters. Department head Charles Maunder is acting for York Global Finance BDH in relation to an application for distribution by the administrators of Lehmans UK, which has reached the Court of Appeal. In an illustration of the firm's track record in high-value personal bankruptcy, the ‘highly approachable’ Sacha Pickering is advising the joint trustees in the bankruptcy of former Rangers FC owner Craig Whyte. The team, which includes ‘commercially robust’ senior associate Karen Dunstone, also has expertise in the energy sector, and assisted the administrators of RAME Group with a £2.1m share transaction as part of an international restructure. Moreover, the group has acted in major restructurings and insolvency procedures involving distressed or insolvent legal firms. Anna Thompson is an active associate in the department. KPMG, Wilkins Kennedy and Begbies Traynor are additional clients.

Leading individuals

Charles Maunder - Michelmores LLP

Next generation lawyers

Karen Dunstone - Michelmores LLP

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South West: Human resources

Employment: The West Country
Employment: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP  Exeter provides advice on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, including executive terminations, breach of covenants, TUPE, discrimination, whistleblowing and tribunal litigation. It also provides specialist HR support on issues such as recruitment, policies, dismissals, tribunals and restructuring. Recent highlights include defending Somerset County Council against claims of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and whistleblowing, and acting for International Schools Theatre Association in relation to HR issues including employment and engagement contracts which bound staff, artists and external contractors. Andrew Tobey heads the team and is experienced in high-profile NHS disciplinary matters concerning professional misconduct. He is supported by partner James Baker, who is adept at high-profile discrimination and whistleblowing tribunal litigation, and Nikki Duncan, who specialises in discrimination and collective representation. Senior associate Tom Stenner-Evans is also recommended. Other clients include Carey Group, Haynes Publishing Group, Devon Doctors, Flybe, Metropolitan Police, Torbay & South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, The Met Office and Dorset County Council.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP advises on work place fatalities, serious injuries, RIDDOR, HSE and police investigations. It also provides crisis management advice to minimise prosecution risk and represents clients at all points in the legal process. Key client sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, construction and real estate. The firm advises on policy and procedure reviews and training for large businesses. It also advises trustees in tandem with its employment and private client teams. Andrew Oldland QC heads the team and has experience of conducting prosecutions for the HSE.

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South West: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP acts in claims for and against professionals such as architects, chartered surveyors, solicitors, valuers and financial services professionals. Clients include SMEs, high-net-worth individuals, private investors and large private companies, for which it handles mis-selling disputes with regulatory implications, agricultural-related negligence and also veterinary negligence such as presale vetting of horses and valuation issues in relation to pedigree livestock. Simon Barnett heads the team, which includes Jonathan Kitchin, who specialises in financial and investment negligence and senior associate Jayne Clemens, who focuses on claims against solicitors and financial services providers. The team provides ‘an outstanding service’ and ‘thinks strategically and commercially’.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

The Michelmores LLP team is ‘at the top of its game as an agricultural specialist’. Vivienne Williams is ‘very good at managing her clients’ expectations’; she advises on agricultural property disputes, including landlord-tenant and succession, as well as farming partnership disputes, rights of way, contractual disputes, and co-ownership and trust disputes. Williams leads the team with Ben Sharples, who is ‘good all round – approachable, confident in his knowledge of the law and a good negotiator’. He advises on landlord and tenant disputes over both agricultural and residential property. Sharples also has a considerable agribusiness practice, which includes the drafting of milk supply contracts. Peter Williams’ practice primarily focuses on confidential arbitration, however recently he has also been involved in Moore v Moore concerning estoppel in relation to a farm and farming business, which is now going to the Court of Appeal. Williams has ‘exceptional intelligence and pursues his clients’ claims with ruthless efficiency’. Senior associate Adam Corbin  is recommended as both ‘organised and commercial’.

Leading individuals

Ben Sharples - Michelmores LLP

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

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is ‘particularly strong’ in trust- and property-related charity matters. Tony Cockayne , who leads the disputed wills team, specialises in contentious probate but also ‘works wonders in charity governance matters where a pragmatic strategist is required’. Senior associate Barny Croft’s caseload covers all aspects of disputed wills, disputed trusts, proprietary claims, claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 and administration disputes, and led the firm’s successful tender to become the sole provider for Cancer Research UK's contentious trusts and probate work, estimated to generate 50 new instructions per year. Martin Follett is an expert in ecclesiastical law, which often has a strong charity component. Senior associate Edward Porter and associate Andrew White are also highly recommended.

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

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is a ‘market leader in contentious trusts and probate in the South West’. Specialising exclusively in contentious trusts and probate, the team receives regular instructions from a number of national charities, and has recently been appointed as Cancer Research UK's sole legal provider for contentious trusts and probate work. Head of the team Tony Cockayne is an ‘excellent tactician’ with 'strong contentious probate experience, providing prompt and thorough advice'. Senior associate Barny Croft is ‘particularly effective at mediation' and handles claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 and administration disputes. ‘Unflappable in even the messiest and most acrimonious contentious probate cases',  Croft has recently advised  professional  executors in relation to issues and claims arising from complex estates (including Beddoe applications, will construction and rectification claims) and proprietary estoppel claims. Associate James Frampton is an ‘astute tax and trusts practitioner’, with a particular focus on trust restructuring and succession planning.

Leading individuals

Tony Cockayne - Michelmores LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is a 'pre-eminent firm in the South West of England’, with a skilled, well trained and very client-focused’ team.  Louisa Ghevaert has a ‘depth of knowledge in relation to complex surrogacy and assisted parenthood matters is second to none’. She leads the fertility and parenting team, which handles matters with an international dimension as well as complex children disputes involving families created through assisted conception. Ghevaert gave expert evidence for the claimant in the first-ever UK damages award for surrogacy in September 2017 (in conjunction with Irwin Mitchell). Practice head  Simon Thomas is ‘very thorough, with attention to detail in complex financial remedy cases’; Thomas mostly advises on high-net-worth divorce cases and receives many instructions from divorcing landowners relating to both traditional and diversified farms, including, recently, dynastic trusts and a Zambian land and farming portfolio. Associate Rachael Shearmur is ‘clear-minded about complex private children cases’ and is also experienced in ancillary relief and domestic violence matters.

Next generation lawyers

Louisa Ghevaert - Michelmores LLP

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

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is a ‘first-class firm with a terrific reputation in this area’. Head of department Jonathan Riley ‘combines excellent technical knowledge and skills with great client-handling abilities and lots of charm’, he typically advises high-net-worth individuals and their families on trusts, estate and succession planning, and the mitigation of inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Jennifer Ridgway is ‘quite simply the best in her class for intellect, humility, communication, and client handling'; she specialises in UK trustees and offshore corporate trustees and UK tax advice. James Radcliffe comes highly recommended, and focuses on advising clients with connections to the US. Associate Charlotte Thomas-Collins has a particular interest in landed estates and vulnerable clients, and ‘is charming in manner - courteous, warm, and a good listener’.

Next generation lawyers

James Radcliffe - Michelmores LLP

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

The team at Michelmores LLP has experience in national and international corporate energy transactions and also has considerable strength in project financing. Department head Ian Holyoak and Alexandra Watson acted for Downing in relation to the £15.3m sale of Vulcan Renewables to John Laing Environmental Assets Group. Holyoak was also instructed in an additional high-value joint venture project, which saw him advise on the acquisition of multiple gas-fired peaking power plants. Additionally, having previously advised on the UK’s first IFISA bond, Watson assisted community benefit society Mendip Renewables with the structuring and launch of the Mendip Renewables IFISA bond, which was the first product on the Triodos Bank Crowdfunding platform. Further, Carol McCormack and Ben Hogan have experience in cross-border financing transactions.

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP’s projects group ‘compares very favourably to considerably larger and more expensive competitors’. The team is rated for its ‘knowledge and approachability’, but what clients appreciate most is the lawyers’ ‘commercial acumen, and the deep practical experience they bring to negotiations’. ‘Pragmatic, professional and, at the same time, personable’, Ben Hogan has been increasingly involved in cross-border project financing mandates. Indeed, Hogan advised Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation on its participation in the financing of a LNG power station in Argentina. Further, Hogan is acting for a major German development finance investor in relation to its involvement in the financing of an onshore wind project in Serbia. Domestically, the team has particular expertise in the education and healthcare sectors. The highly regarded Carol McCormack provides ongoing procurement advice to Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust in relation to its £420m 3Ts redevelopment programme. McCormack also assists ISS Mediclean with a wide range of operational education and healthcare PPP projects. Other key clients of the department include Innisfree Group, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust and Aberystwyth University.

Leading individuals

Ben Hogan - Michelmores LLP

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South West: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP's  ‘very knowledgeable and efficient team’ provides ‘an exemplary service’. Areas of expertise include establishing and providing strategic advice to MATs, advising on governance structures, funding agreements, commercial transfer agreements, property transfers and commercial contracts. It also provides advice on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), disability discrimination, exclusions, admissions, parent complaints and special educational needs (SEN). The firm recently advised on the establishment of a large MAT comprising three secondary and 14 primary schools. It also advised Truro and Penwith College on the purchasing of land for the development of a new £15m campus. Antony Power and Laura Partridge display ‘a client focus and creativity that delights’ and are ‘very knowledgeable in their fields’. Charlotte Antoniou was promoted to partner and specialises in establishing new schools. Tom Briant-Evans joined as an associate from Wolferstans. Clients include Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, Tring School and Sigma Academy Trust.

Next generation lawyers

Charlotte Antoniou - Michelmores LLP

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP advises on special purpose vehicles (SPVs), funding initiatives, asset management work, regeneration, development, planning, environmental and education issues. Mark Howard advised Dorset County Council in the negotiation and settlement of waste contracts with a number of waste disposal companies. Ian Holyoak and Tom Torkar acted for South West Smart Applications in relation to multimillion-pound OJEU procurements. Carol McCormack heads the team and is supported by Sally Rice, who specialises in redevelopment work and mixed-use schemes. Andrew Tobey focuses on public sector-related employment law. Ben Hogan is also recommended. Brian Hitchcock left the firm. Partner Alan Tate joined from Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: The West Country
Commercial property: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Michelmores LLP

The ‘market-leading’ team at Michelmores LLP provides ‘proactive and commercial service’ in development land acquisitions and real estate investment transactions. ‘An exceptional property lawyer’, David Howe acted for Retirement Rentals, as joint venture partner in The Retirement Housing Partnership, in relation to the £100m sale of its partner’s limited interest in the partnership to Traderisks REIT. Having acted on the land acquisition for Skypark Development Partnership’s 5,779 sq ft office building development in Devon, Joanna Damerell recently assisted the partnership with leasing transaction for the completed building. Further, Emma Honey assisted Barratt Homes with the site acquisition for a substantial residential development, and Lucy Smallwood advised Persimmon Homes on the concurrent acquisitions of two linked residential development sites in Essex. Other key contacts include Stephen Newson, who assisted Oxygen House (Grenadier Paternoster) with a strategic property transaction, and Richard Honey, who handles public sector property transactions nationwide.

Leading individuals

David Howe - Michelmores LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP  has developed a formidable construction department, which handles contentious and non-contentious matters for developers, public sector authorities, contractors, project managers and funders. Chris Hoar is acting for Chilworth Construction Management in relation to its involvement in the development of £100m energy recovery facility in Scotland. Having advised Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust on the construction procurement for its £420m 3Ts Hospital Redevelopment Programme, the team is representing the client in a substantial dispute with a contractor for the project. Gerald Offen specialises in construction disputes and is representing Midas Construction in a £12m dispute with Pendennis Shipyard concerning the completion of a super yacht manufacturing facility in Falmouth. Alan Tate joined the team in 2017, having previously headed the construction group at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, and Catherine Davis joined as a consultant from Foot Anstey.

Leading individuals

Chris Hoar - Michelmores LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 4

Michelmores LLP

The team at Michelmores LLP possesses ‘a breadth of expertise’ that makes it ‘a serious contender in the regional environmental law market’. The highly regarded Mark Howard has particular expertise in planning and waste-related environmental issues. Indeed, Howard has assisted local authorities with waste disposal contracts and landowner agreements governing mineral extraction; he has also advised a prominent house builder on a business-critical environmental concern. The team also handles environmental due diligence for corporate and real estate transactions and has experience in contaminated land and flood plane analyses. On the contentious side, Howard represented a farmer in negotiations with the Environment Agency concerning the breach of an environmental permit.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP is instructed by developers, estate trusts, local authorities and other public sector bodies, and has particular expertise in strategtic planning, valuation and ultra vires. Mark Howard heads the department and is noted for his ‘outstanding legal know-how and commercial acumen’. Howard assisted a South West local authority with the planning agreements for a large residential development, and also advised a national house builder on a deed of variation for a complex existing planning agreement. In the contentious space, Howard is acting for The Met Office in relation to the planning application for a proposed wind farm that will impact a certain weather radar. The department head is also handling a planning objection for another central government body. Senior associate Sarah Phillips is another contact

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Michelmores LLP

The team at Michelmores LLP has historically been focused on public sector work, and although it maintains a prolific public sector client-base, the property group is increasingly instructed by private sector developers, land owners and corporate occupiers. Department head Andrew Baines is advising Poplar Housing & Regeneration Community Association on the relocation and new lease strategy of over 60 commercial tenants in relation to the Chrisp Street redevelopment project in east London. Baines is also representing a property holding group in a dispute over a property financing agreement and, separately, is advising Aberystwyth University on a £900k dilapidations dispute. Additionally, the team, which includes senior associate Naomi Cunningham, has acted for multiple developer clients in cases regarding breached or terminated contracts.

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Michelmores LLP

The ‘excellent, very professional and commercially sensible’ team at Michelmores LLP provides IT and technology-related advice to national clients. Tom Torkar leads the rebranded technology and innovation team, he is ‘experienced in his field and has excellent relationships with his peers’. He and associate Emily Timmins advised Landmark Information Group with commercial contracts, IP advice, client agreements, and new products and services. Another highlight saw the firm advise the Mayor's Office For Policing And Crime in relation to the procurement of a national framework IT solution. A further highlight included advising St Austell Brewery Company in relation to the procurement of an enterprise resource planning solution to help streamline the business and increase efficiency. Richard Cobb advised Haynes Publishing on the acquisition of an online technical data business, this involved carrying out due diligence into the data and software being acquired and transitional service agreements. Nathaniel Lane is ‘exceptional and always provides responses to questions in quick-time and real depth’. Sara Chisholm-Batten and David Thompson are also recommended.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 3

Michelmores LLP's

Michelmores LLP's  IP team advises on contentious and non-contentious work, focusing mainly on the food and drink, manufacturing, technology and retail sectors. Tim Richards co-heads the team on the contentious side, he is adept at handling commercial disputes including cross-border trademark and passing off disputes. David Thompson co-heads the team on the non-contentious side, he focuses on supply chain arrangements, distributorship agreements, agency agreements and manufacturing licenses. ‘Responsive and smart’ Tom Torkar heads the technology and innovation team and is adept at handling IT-related matters such as service contracts, e-commerce, software licensing, systems integration, data protection and information security. Recent highlights include advising Landmark Information Group on commercial contracts, client agreements, IP advice, and new products and services. The firm also advised Haynes Publishing Group on the acquisition of E3 Technical an online technical data business, this involved due diligence in relation to the acquired data and software and data supply licenses.

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Further information on Michelmores LLP

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Offices in London

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Offices in Exeter, Sidmouth, and Bristol

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