The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Mills & Reeve LLP

78-84 COLMORE ROW, BIRMINGHAM, B3 2AB, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0344 880 2666
DX:
707290 BIRMINGHAM 65
Web:
www.mills-reeve.com

West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is possibly best known for its expertise in the private health sector, where the team acts for clients such as Partnerships in Care and Virgin Care; healthcare specialist Julian Smith continued to be active in this space and assisted Bupa with its disposal of the entire issued share capital of Bupa Home Healthcare to Lloyds Pharmacy. Another significant player is Peter McLintock, who is experienced in handling private equity and cross-border deals, and in one notable matter acted for Tournus Expansion, backed by MML, in the acquisition of CED Fabrications. McLintock also advised Spring Ventures on its equity investment into the management buyout of Home from HFH Healthcare. Jayne Hussey leads on commercial contracts work, where the team’s experience spans automotive and engineering, energy, and hotel and leisure. Hussey advised Elster Metering on supply contracts relating to its smart meter supply arrangements, and together with principal associate Ruth Andrew assisted Silverrail Technologies with various supply agreements in relation to the National Express Rail franchise.

Next generation lawyers

Ruth Andrew - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s team was enhanced by the hire of Neil Pearson from Gowling WLG, who now jointly heads the department with Kevin Lowe. Pearson specialises in social investment, venture capital schemes and employee share ownership, and was highly active in these spaces for clients such as Maven Capital Partners UK and Funding Circle. In one example of work, he provided tax advice to Livingbridge VC, in relation to both new investments by the company and restructuring its existing portfolio. Lowe focuses on high-value M&A transactions, with a particular emphasis on VAT issues encountered by transactions in the health and education sectors. In 2016, he assisted with a number of deals in the hospitality and leisure sector, including acting for Boparan Restaurants Holdings in the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Giraffe Concepts in an auction bid process from Tesco. The practice is also noted for its tax expertise in the sports sector, where clients include the Professional Footballers Association.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP

At Mills & Reeve LLP, ‘tactically very astute’ managing partner Steve Allen focuses on high-value dispute resolution, often with an international element, and in the last 12 months has been active on a range of LCIA, UNCITRAL and ad hoc international arbitration cases. The automotive and advanced manufacturing and technology sector is a particular specialism, with Allen continuing to serve key client Jaguar Land Rover on a number of significant matters. Below partner level, the team draws on the expertise of two principal associates, Jonathan Nixon and Anthony Minnis; Nixon heads up the firm’s national fraud practice and works across several sectors, including education, food and beverage, automotive and sports; and Minnis has specialist knowledge in public and private sector health issues and regular advises clients on NHS dispute resolution, contract management and termination. Other notable clients of the practice are Shell, BUPA and Cadent.

Leading individuals

Steve Allen - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s team is increasingly instructed on international finance mandates for lenders including Wells Fargo and Webster Business Credit Corporation. It also wins praise for its specialist sector knowledge, with one client stating, ‘its knowledge of the agri-food sector is particularly strong - and a differentiator’. Head of practice David Varnham provides ‘Magic Circle-quality advice’ and ‘makes complicated subjects easy to understand’, and advised the management of SWP Group on funding from HSBC for the £18m purchase of the shares of SWP Group by a NewCo; in another deal, the same lawyer advised PNC Financial Services (UK) on the restructuring of its existing facilities to Bright Blue Foods. The practice was strengthened by the hire of two senior associates, real estate finance specialist Arvin Bhamra, who joined from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, and acquisition finance lawyer Rory Milligan, who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and has experience in cross-border transactions.

Next generation lawyers

David Varnham - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

West Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s clients rate the firm for providing ‘pragmatic, strategic, technically robust advice that is more efficient than its competitors’. The firm’s expanding client roster includes companies such as The University of Birmingham, Carlsberg (which is a new client of the firm) and Volkswagen, as well as a number of public-sector entities. David Mills leads the department from the Cambridge office, with the team in Birmingham headed by Richard Santy, who focuses on commercial disputes and disputes concerning the sports sector, and Jog Hundle, whose ‘sound, practical and timely advice inspires confidence in her clients’. Santy’s recent highlights include designing training programmes for Volkswagen Financial Services’ junior and senior HR teams for the purposes of handling whistleblowing and social media issues, and representing former Premier League footballer Jonás Gutiérrez in his successful disability discrimination claim against Newcastle United. Hundle and Martin Brewer act for a number of NHS trusts; Brewer recently acted for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust in injunction proceedings brought by a consultant surgeon to prevent the trust from convening a capability hearing, while Hundle acted for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in several investigations concerning conduct and capability of its clinical staff. Clients also single out education-sector specialist Nick Abbott, who advised South & City College Birmingham on its merger with Bourneville College, and acted for a university on a complex Employment Tribunal dispute involving disability and sex discrimination, equal pay and unfair dismissal.

Leading individuals

Jog Hundle - Mills & Reeve LLP

Richard Santy - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

The ‘knowledge and professional nature of the staff is excellent’ at Mills & Reeve LLP. Jamie Wheatley leads the national regulatory, public and commercial disputes department from Cambridge, while Duncan Astill heads the practice in Birmingham. Recent work includes handling several fatal accidents, one of which involved the death of a mental health patient, and acting for a leading university with regards to the discovery of asbestos debris on the premises. Astill and associate Amanda Narkiewicz acted on a carbon monoxide poisoning case on behalf of a German construction company, and acted for an urgent care provider in a police-led corporate manslaughter investigation regarding the alleged delayed provision of an ambulance. Consultant Chris Gough, who leads the firm’s insurance dispute work, is also recommended.

[back to top]

Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP has a ‘knowledgeable’ pensions practice headed by Clare Grice, who is considered a ‘personable expert in her field’ with particularly strong expertise in the charities and not-for-profit sectors. Recent highlights include assisting LG Harris with the pensions aspects of its acquisition by the Norway-based Okra, and advising PageOne on the merger of its scheme with Capita Group’s scheme. Grice also acted on behalf of a financial institution with an international parent with regards to pension liabilities arising from the dissolution of a UK subsidiary, and acted for the trustees of a defined benefit pension scheme on the release of a number of properties from a complex contingent asset agreement.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP stands out for its ‘speedy, thorough, genuinely helpful and reassuring’ responses. Stephen King heads the medical malpractice department with an emphasis on acting for medical insurers from the Norwich office. He works alongside Birmingham-based professional indemnity insurance specialist Neil Frankland. King acted alongside associate Sarah Kenyon defending a delay in diagnosis claim on behalf of an out-of-hours emergency care provider, while professional negligence expert David Gooding acted for a group of midwives with regards to allegations of negligence, breach of confidence, defamation, lawful conspiracy, breach of human rights related to the treatment and care of the claimant and her child during delivery. Other matters included advising plastic surgeons and insurers in connection with accusations of negligent cosmetic procedures, and representing chiropractors and an NHS fund, as well as a nursing care home facing negligence charges. Notable clients include Zurich Global, Novae and Virgin Care.

Next generation lawyers

Sarah Kenyon - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

According to clients, Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘an absolute pleasure to work with’. The professional negligence practice is headed by the ‘very conscientious and astuteDavid Gooding, who is ‘without doubt one of the top professional indemnity litigators in the West Midlands’, and includes Angus Turner (‘has the legal expertise but also recognises commercial realities’), who heads the national legal negligence claims practice and, and construction and brokers negligence expert Neil Frankland. Assisted by principal associate Sarah Trendell-Smyth, Turner is advising on a client fund theft case, while Gooding is defending a major accounting company in high-value multi-party proceedings pertaining to claims of breach of confidentiality and serious misconduct against the company’s partners. Principal associate Lesley-Ann Hamlynis also acting in this matter. Other key mandates included representing an architect in a claim involving inspection duties arising from the refurbishment of a residential and leisure facility, and handling coverage issues arising from a fraud claim brought against an international law firm. Notable clients include Zurich, QBE, and Nexus.

Leading individuals

Angus Turner - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

West Midlands: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

The national charities team at Mills & Reeve LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent’ service. In Birmingham, social finance expert Neil Pearson joined the practice from Gowling WLG, bringing strength in advisory work for social investors. Senior trust and probate manager Tony Evans is ‘always available and helpful, with a broad range of experience’; his clients include the West Midlands Chest Fund, which he advises on day-to-day governance issues. John Grundy and senior associate Adam Williams assisted an NHS trust with a will subject to restrictive conditions, and acted for the Island Project in a detailed review of its governance document, which led to recommendations for the updating of its memorandum. The team also handles pensions-related matters through Clare Grice, who is overseeing the proposed closure of a charity’s defined benefits scheme and its move to a defined contributions scheme. Other notable clients include The British Council, The Wellcome Trust and Big Society.

[back to top]

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

John Grundy is the key contentious trusts figure in Mills & Reeve LLP’s Birmingham office. He acts for domestic and international high-net-worth individuals in all aspects of estate and tax planning, including Court of Protection work and lasting powers of attorney. Matthew Hansell specialises in estate management and protecting assets against tax charges and divorce proceedings. Also recommended are senior associate Adam Williams and trust and estate practitioner Claire Nash.

[back to top]

Family: Birmingham
Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP

According to one client, Mills & Reeve LLPsimply has the whole package’. The ‘simply superbMarc Saunderson heads the practice and is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ in financial matters. He is supported by senior associate Hayley McCormack, who has a strong track record in leave-to-remove cases, often involving an international element. Principal associate Katherine Kennedy led on a highly contentious financial remedy case involving proceedings regarding hostility under the Children Act, and assisted Saunderson in wealth protection work. In an illustration of the practice’s ability to handle cross-border work, senior associate Aasha Choudhary acted alongside Saunderson in a high-value divorce involving foreign assets and jurisdictional issues.

Leading individuals

Marc Saunderson - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

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

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘an excellent firm’ with a ‘very strong team’ led by national private wealth head Matthew Hansell, who is a ‘fine example of the complete family adviser'. The ‘very approachableJohn Grundy leads the Birmingham private client team and is supported by principal associate Sarah Wood and senior associate Adam Williams, who ‘can think on his feet and come up with innovative ideas’. The practice handles comprehensive cross-border reviews and restructurings of trusts and family businesses for wealthy international families. Wood advised a landed estate client on a restructuring to increase business property relief claim, while Grundy handled all private client work including tax and pension death planning for a former business owner. He also assisted a wealthy family with pre-and-post-nuptial agreements to facilitate estate planning and wealth protection.

Leading individuals

Matthew Hansell - Mills & Reeve LLP

Next generation lawyers

Sarah Wood - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

West Midlands: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s education team is headed by Nick Abbott, who ensures clients ‘feel entirely supported by the firm’. He is assisted by Richard Sykes, who splits his time between Birmingham and Manchester offices and is ‘always available, responds promptly and delivers his service in a cost-effective way’; and real estate specialists Christian Bull and senior associate Robbie Turner, who attract praise for their ‘proactive yet pragmatic approach’ and ‘commercially sound advice’. The firm’s client roster consists of higher education institutions such as Birmingham City University, who engaged the group to oversee the relocation of the Birmingham Conservatoire to a new facility and the negotiation of a financial compensation agreement with the city council with regards to the development of Paradise Circus and its impact on the Conservatoire’s current location. Sykes provided urgent services to the Welsh exam board in connection with a threatened injunction by a visually impaired candidate alleging the client failed to make the required adjustments to their examination papers. Other notable clients include Coventry University, Aston University and the Warwickshire College Group, which is a new win for the team.

[back to top]

Health
Health - ranked: tier 1

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s Rhian Vandrill runs the national commercial health practice from Birmingham alongside Jill Mason, who also leads the patient care and mental health law teams. In recent highlights, Julian Smith acted for Bupa with regards to the sale of its home healthcare business to Celesio, and assisted Partnerships in Care with multiple asset and company acquisitions. On the employment side, Jog Hundle is acting for a large trust regarding disciplinary and grievance queries, TUPE transfers and disputes between clinical staff, and Martin Brewer acted for a foundation trust in connection with a consultant surgeon subject to conduct procedures and his attempt to file an injunction to prevent a capability hearing. Mason, assisted by Molly Sanghera, represented hospital managers in a judicial review launched by their hospital trust to determine whether they were sufficiently independent. Consultant, former coroner and inquest specialist Stuart Knowles is also recommended.

[back to top]

West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 4

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP provides ‘rapid, considered and pragmatic advice’ to a range of education sector clients, including Aston University, the Auriga Academy Trust, and Hammersmith & West London College. Christian Bull has a ‘very good understanding of the university sector’ and is representing Coventry University in its £14m Scarborough campus project; and in another example of higher education work, Bull is assisting Birmingham City University with the relocation of the Birmingham Conservatoire to a new £40m facility at Millennium Point. Principal associate Robbie Turner leads on automotive work and delivers ‘sound advice in a clear, concise way’, and Michael Whatley, who specialises in acting for corporate occupiers and clients in the healthcare sector, advised Bright Horizons Family Solutions on the property aspects of its acquisition of Asquith Day Nurseries and Pre-Schools. Beverley Firth heads the department from Cambridge.

[back to top]

Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s non-contentious practice continued to be busy on a number of significant London-based development projects and higher education projects, including ‘solution-focused’ practice head Stuart Pemble acting for Cheval Group on the redevelopment of 55-91 Knightsbridge, London. In another important piece of work, Pemble represented Cranfield University in the drafting and negotiation of all documents for seven separate projects on Cranfield’s campus. The team also enjoyed a number of mandates in the media space, advising clients such as the National Film and Television School and Battersea Arts Centre on redevelopment and rebuilding work. Martino Giaquinto leads on disputes and is a ‘hugely savvy litigator with bags of experience, who achieves speedy, favourable resolutions for clients’. Giaquinto specialises in offshore energy, power generation and infrastructure, but also handles domestic disputes arising from infrastructure and real estate. Associate Patrick Wisheu is recommended for his contentious work in the energy sector.

Leading individuals

Martino Giaquinto - Mills & Reeve LLP

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 5

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘very responsive and knowledgeable’ team is probably best known for its expertise in the healthcare and education sectors, where it advises clients such as NHS England and Coventry University. Principal associate Christopher Bartley and senior associate Henry Mahalski ‘both provide sound advice and communicate this in a very clear and straightforward way, whether dealing with residential clients or large commercial developers’. In 2016, highlights included helping NHS Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group to secure clinical services in the Dudley area following forfeiture of a GP surgery lease by a landlord, and assisting an education sector client with the release of right to light to allow a third-party developer to develop adjacent land, including mutual release facilitating future development of the land. The practice is led from Norwich by Richard Hanson.

[back to top]

West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 3

Mills & Reeve LLP (Birmingham)

Jayne Hussey heads Mills & Reeve LLP’s commercial, IP and IT department from the Birmingham office and has notable experience in the automotive and engineering sectors. She is supported by senior associate and data protection and cyber security expert David Hall, and principal associate Ruth Andrew, who specialises in IT contract law and acts for clients in the retail, automotive, engineering and digital technology sectors. Recent highlights include acting for Academies Enterprise Trust on its contract with Advanced for the supply of cloud-based management information system to the client’s portfolio of academies; Hall led the team in this matter with support from associate Sophie Richardson. Hussey also advised Elster Metering on framework, supply and interface contracts for the supply of smart electricity matters as part of the UK government’s £1bn rollout of smart meters.

[back to top]


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

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to