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Mills & Reeve LLP

1 NEW YORK STREET, MANCHESTER, M1 4HD, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0344 880 2666
Web:
www.mills-reeve.com

North West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Manchester
Corporate and commercial: Manchester - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP’s clients value its ability to ‘balance hard legal facts, with commercial insight and reality’ and the corporate and commercial team is active across the media, entertainment, real estate, health, retail, technology, food and beverage sectors. Demonstrating its expertise in advising on transactions in the music festival sector; the team advised Broadwick Holdings on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Ground Control Productions; and advised Global Festivals on several acquisitions; including membership rights in Hideout Festival and on the related acquisition of 75% of the issued share capital of Moving Music. Marick Capital instructed the team on the £32m sale of a hotel development in London’s Royal Docks in another key highlight. Chris Ross, who is ‘calm under pressure’ and Chris Wilkinson, who is experienced in the pharmaceuticals sector, jointly lead the corporate team, which was recently bolstered by the arrival of principal associate Vicky Protano from JMW Solicitors LLP. Principal associate Paul Knight leads the commercial, IP and IT team and ‘brings significant intellect, legal expertise and a commonsense approach’.

Next generation lawyers

Paul Knight - Mills & Reeve LLP

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North West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Manchester
Commercial litigation: Manchester - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

The ‘impressive’ practice at Mills & Reeve LLP is noted for its experience in complex corporate disputes across the food, agribusiness, waste, manufacturing, sport and private wealth sectors, with expertise in reputation management, fraud and tax, trusts and probate matters. Recent work includes defending Phoenix Healthcare Distribution in a long-running £8m dispute against a pharmacy chain, and representing a football agent in a multi-million pound claim brought by a Premier League team alleging conspiracy and misrepresentation. Ripple Developments (UK) and AURES Technologies are also clients. Team head Richard Dawson-Gerrard is ‘very intelligent, client focused, and tactically astute; he takes a realistic line but fights the client’s corner’. Dawson-Gerrard is ably supported by Simon Pedley, who focuses on corporate and commercial disputes in addition to contentious trusts. Principal associates Rachael Somerset, who is experienced in defamation and reputation management issues, and Sandra Morrison, who is ‘very able and runs commercial cases excellently’ and runs the firm’s German desk, are also key members of the department.

Leading individuals

Simon Pedley - Mills & Reeve LLP

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North West: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP s ‘polite, prompt and professional’ team has ‘excellent legal knowledge’. The team is noted for its corporate and personal insolvency litigation expertise and also advises on directors’ and officers’ liability as well as the administration of insolvent deceased estates. Department head Helen Fyles is praised for her ‘good knowledge and client skills’; her expertise encompasses complex advisory matters, investigations and contentious insolvency cases. Laura Smith recently joined Kennedys.

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North West: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

The ‘very experienced’ team at Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘practical advice’. Sara Barrett ‘uses her wealth of experience and knowledge to get to the heart of the matter and then provides good support to help clients achieve their goals’. Principal associate Deborah Coyne  ‘quickly gets to grips with the key issues and is very solution orientated’. Associate Miriam Guilding is a ‘great source of advice, knowledge and support when  dealing with complex issues’. Clients include Lancaster University, Royal Northern College of Music, Bolton College and Turley Associates. Victrex Manufacturing and Sefton Council for Voluntary Service are also key clients.

Next generation lawyers

Deborah Coyne - Mills & Reeve LLP

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North West: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP  ’s ‘extremely responsive' team 'is able to provide pragmatic solutions' and 'leaves clients with the impression that it knows its onions’. Niall Innes  ‘inspires confidence; he can spot a good point a mile off and has an extraordinary ability to distil a complex case to its core elements. He then produces a very swift and instinctive answer on how best to achieve the client’s strategic goals’. Also recommended are Ben Hardiman, who has a ‘real can-do attitude', and principal associate Liam Burnett, who has 'a razor-sharp mind and is an incisive litigator who is particularly skilled at spotting his opponent’s weak points’. It is renowned for handling claims made against legal professionals (solicitors, barristers and licensed conveyancers) and has been instructed to defend a number of high profile and multi-million pound claims recently. Clients include XL Catlin, Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund and Travelers.

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North West: Private client

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

The ‘knowledgeable’ Paul Knight at Mills & Reeve LLP leads a cross-disciplinary charities team in Manchester. He provides ‘realistic solutions and pragmatic advice. He also takes the time to understand the client’s business and to listen to you as a client’. An impressive roster of clients include BBC Children in Need and the Manchester Young People’s Theatre.Mark Hovell has been leading the advice to the Greater Manchester Sports Partnership (GreaterSport aims to change lives through physical activity and sport). Recently the team has advised GreaterSport on sponsorship terms and has provided specialist charity law advice for inclusion in a report by GreaterSport to a football club on the club’s options for creating a new charitable foundation.

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘both cutting edge and outstanding advice’. Simon Pedley  and associate Ben Reeves  are both ‘excellent’. The ‘efficient and effective team’ deals with disputes about the validity of wills, actions involving trustees and executors as well as claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Other areas of expertise include advising on other claims about lifetime transactions and advising charities involved in contested legacy matters. The team is adept at handling substantial trust disputes both for onshore and offshore individuals and institutions. It is continuing to advise the executors of the Summers Estate about a very complicated handwritten homemade will. The first issue was whether the will was valid. The two remaining areas of dispute relate to difficult questions of interpretation about the various legacies and also determining the correct recipients of the residuary estate. In another substantial matter it is acting for the recently appointed independent administrator of the estate of the late Mrs. Cadogan who was appointed by court order during bitter litigation between the two former executors. The team is also acting for an Oxbridge College in defending a potential claim by relatives of the deceased.

Leading individuals

Simon Pedley - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP fields a team of ‘very able individuals with the capability to handle involved and difficult cases’. Key figures include Nigel Shepherd, who is a ‘very calming influence’, and the ‘absolutely brilliant’ Alison Bull, who ‘never misses a point and is excellent at creating opportunities to find solutions’. The ‘pragmatic and very thorough’ Andrew Moore and Sue Brookes  (both principal associates) are also recommended, as is senior associate Rose-Marie Drury, who is ‘efficiency personified’. The team provides the full range of family services and has three mediators, five collaborative lawyers and one arbitrator. It acts for clients in high-net-worth and complex financial circumstances, frequently involving other jurisdictions. Other areas of expertise include drafting pre- and post-nuptial agreements in complex cases.

Leading individuals

Alison Bull - Mills & Reeve LLP

Nigel Shepherd - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Andrew Moore - Mills & Reeve LLP

Rose-Marie Drury - Mills & Reeve LLP

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

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP  has a ‘broad spread of skills with superb attention to detail. The team can think quickly on its feet and explains complex matters in an easy to understand way’. Deborah Clark is ‘particularly highly regarded for her work in family investment companies’. The ‘tenacious’ Tony Hall  ‘seeks out answers to the most complex of problems; his knowledge is immense but just as important is his ability to convey solutions to clients on very complex issues’. The ‘highly experienced and professional’ Zahra Siddiqui can ‘translate the most sophisticated legal advice into client-friendly language’. Its focus is on wealth and estate planning for high-net-worth clients (often multi-generational) for the North West and beyond.

Leading individuals

Tony Hall - Mills & Reeve LLP

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North West: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘excellent advice, is knowledgeable and offers pragmatic solutions to minimise costs’. On the employment side Sara Barrett  delivers ‘timely advice in an expert yet approachable manner and is entirely cognisant of the intricacies of the environment in which we work’. Principal associate Deborah Coyne  is ‘knowledgeable and offers innovative solutions to complex issues’- she is in the employment team and is a key lawyer in the education sector. Richard Skyes, who splits his time between Birmingham and Manchester has a ‘depth and breadth of expertise which is highly valued by us’. The group has particular experience in the further and higher education sectors and regularly assists its university clients on significant policy and legal developments. Clients include Manchester Metropolitan University, Bury College, Royal Northern College of Music and the Academies Enterprise Trust.

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Health
Health - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP  has an ‘excellent nationwide presence’ under the leadership of Cambridge-based Bridget Archibald . Principal associate Jennifer Lewis is recommended along with the ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’ Chris Wilkinson . The team has recently been reappointed by Rowlands Pharmacy to advise on all aspects of the client’s legal work for its 500-strong chain of community pharmacies. Mersey Care NHS Trust and NHS Chorley and South Ribble and Greater Preston CCGs are also clients.

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North West: Real estate

Commercial property: Manchester
Commercial property: Manchester - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP delivers an ‘excellent level of service’ and was significantly bolstered in 2018 by the arrival of Mike Edge, Rachel Pitman and senior associate Alexandra Murphy from Pinsent Masons LLP. The team is instructed on local, national and international property projects and acts for developers, strategic land owners, major corporates, and education and health and care provider clients. Recent highlights included advising Marick Capital and Mill Lane Estates on the £33m sale of a Hampton by Hilton hotel at London’s Royal Docks and advising Marick Capital, Topland Group and Mill Lane Estates on the £30m sale of the Holiday Inn Express at The Trafford Centre, Manchester. Advising Pilgrim Technology on the sale of the former Leyland DAF test track site near Leyland, Lancashire, and advising Eden Point Developments on the £3.2m purchase of Eden Point, Cheadle, were also key matters for the department. Team head Caroline Hanratty is ‘brilliant’ and specialises in development mandates with expertise in the hotel and residential sectors. Principal associate Jennifer Lewis is active in the education and health sectors and is praised for her ‘excellent and timely advice’. Consultants Keith Davidson, who specialises in contaminated land issues, and Anne Fairhurst are also recommended, as is senior associate Graham Collier. Louise Robinson has joined Trowers & Hamlins LLP.

Leading individuals

Mike Edge - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 5

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘brilliant’ construction department delivers an ‘outstanding service’ and is active across non-contentious construction work and is regularly instructed by contractors and developers on local and national projects. The team has particular experience in the arts sector and houses in-depth expertise in heritage buildings; it is advising The Hallé on the appointment of the design team for the stage 2 works at St Peter’s, a former church in Manchester; and is also advising Contact Theatre on its redevelopment. The team also handles high-end London-based mixed-use and residential developments and is advising Cheval Group on the redevelopment of 55-91 Knightsbridge. The education and health sectors are also a key area of focus and clients also include Royal Northern College of Music, LTE Group and L. Rowlands (Retail). Team head Catherine Kay ‘makes complex legal issues and terminology understandable for those who do not have a legal background’ and her ‘tenacity and expert knowledge on contracting is invaluable’. Associate James Badger is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Catherine Kay - Mills & Reeve LLP

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North West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘very good response times and well-presented and appropriate advice that is easy to follow’. The ‘very pragmatic’ Paul Knight ‘delivers solutions and negotiates well’. Knight has particular expertise in software licensing and development and data security. His sector expertise lies in EdTech and FinTech with key clients such as the British Council and Nesta. The team continues to advise the Higher Education Academy on various matters such as on an IT dispute with an online platform provider and on the appropriate terms to incorporate into all its contracts where some personal data is being processed as part of the GDPR.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

At Mills & Reeve LLP  Richard Dawson-Gerrard leads the team and has a particular focus on reputation management and crisis management. The team advises sports clients/household names, individuals, education establishments, corporate and high-net-worth individuals. Principal associate Rachael Somerset is also recommended.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

The ‘outstanding’ Mark Hovell  at Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘great for international arbitration work and is a vastly experienced lawyer’. He heads the sports team and is a noted arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport where he is known for his ‘very robust judgments’. Overall the team is ‘absolutely top-class’. Caroline Couse heads the Latin American desk and is experienced in football regulatory and commercial matters. Couse has a wide range of clients with a particular focus on Hispanic clients. Other areas of expertise include advising on women’s sport and on doping cases in football. The group represented Accrington Stanley footballer Patrick Lacey who failed an anti-doping test for cocaine. He was facing a four year ban from the sport. The firm did its own advocacy and managed to reduce the penalty to a 14-month ban instead. The department also acted for Wigan Rugby League Club Limited as it had been charged by the RFL with refusing to play a match. The matter was heard before the RFL and the team was successful in getting the fine and other penalties quashed.

Leading individuals

Mark Hovell - Mills & Reeve LLP

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Further information on Mills & Reeve LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Mills & Reeve LLP in other jurisdictions.

East Anglia

Offices in Cambridge and Norwich

London

Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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