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London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 6

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite, which has an extensive commercial contracts practice, has become increasingly sought-after by clients such as 118 Group to advise on complex data supply agreements. In addition, its team has a wealth of experience advising on a range of technology-related agreements, such as the procurement of cloud-based systems, software licensing/support, managed services and platform services. In 2017, practice head Richard Marke and Viral Kataria, acted for the charity FareShare in its agreement with Tesco over the rollout of the FareShare FoodCloud mobile phone app, which enables Tesco stores to alert local charities of surplus food when it becomes available. In addition to acting for UK-based clients, as a member of the Parlex network, the firm generates a significant amount of cross-border work from overseas-based companies. Outsourcing work for suppliers and customers is another mainstay of the practice; areas of expertise for the team include BPOs and facilities management outsourcings.

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M&A: smaller deals up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals up to £50m - ranked: tier 2

Bates Wells Braithwaite

The team at Bates Wells Braithwaite is noted for its expertise in technology, financial services, infrastructure and the impact economy. It frequently handles deals with an international element: practice head Mark Tasker acted for the shareholders in Netsparker on the sale of the company to US investment fund Turn/River Capital; Murdoch Currie, who joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in May 2017, advised Spain-based Alantra Partners on its £30m acquisition of UK corporate finance adviser Catalyst Corporate Finance; and David Davies acted for US-based aerospace testing company Element Materials Technology on its acquisition of UK company NDT. Notable new clients include FairFX Group, Brighton Pier Group, SigmaRoc and Perkbox, a UK start-up that helps companies engage and reward employees; Stephen Callender acted for the latter on its acquisition of digital rewards platform Loyalty Bay.

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London: Dispute resolution

Professional discipline
Professional discipline - ranked: tier 2

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite 'provides excellent response terms and is one of the best in terms of acumen and knowledge'. The multi-disciplinary team covers the  breadth of the professional disciplines, including accountancy and health and social care. It is also retained as the sole legal adviser to The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Compliance Officer, which disciplines MPs for abuses of the expenses system; and it recently acted for the Council of the Inns of Court (COIC), the body that regulates barristers, in an application for an injunction brought by a barrister against COIC, seeking to prevent it from disbarring him from the profession. Former deputy registrar of the General Optical Council, Melanie Carter 'has a superb practice and often acts as a legal assessor for various regulators'; and for over 15 years has sat as a legal assessor for The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Emma Dowden-Teale was promoted to the partnership and a significant proportion of her practice relates to the regulation of professionals in the healthcare and education sectors; consultant John Trotter is a former partner of the firm who acts on behalf of accountancy bodies; and promoted to senior associate in 2017 Claire Whittle, is 'a rising star who is extremely bright, hardworking, thorough and a brilliant drafter'.

Leading individuals

Melanie Carter - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Next generation lawyers

Emma Dowden-Teale - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 5

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 2

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite 'knows the charity and education sectors inside out' and counts British Red Cross and the Royal College of Physiatrists as notable clients. In a recent highlight, department head Lucy McLynn acted for St John's Downshire Hill in a case regarding the dismissal of the church's minister and alleged marriage discrimination issues; further mandates for the group include advising on the merger between the Capital City College Group and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London; representing the claimants in the high-profile Uber gig economy case, and acting for a claimant in the gig economy case with CitySprint. On the senior executive side, the group's work encompasses remuneration and bonus issues, workplace disputes, restrictive covenants and breach of contract claims. The 'excellentWilliam Garnett is the key name for senior executive work and boardroom disputes and Paul Jennings is recommended for class actions and test cases. Paul Seath and the 'highly commercialMartin Bunch are also key contacts.

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Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 1

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay - ranked: tier 1

Bates Wells Braithwaite

The ‘outstanding’ team at Bates Wells Braithwaite delivers a ‘professional’ service, and is praised for its ‘accurate, informed legal advice and conscientious, committed representation’. It acts for a range of individuals, including several well-known entertainers, as well as charities, media companies, and education-sector clients. Clients include Hillsong Church London, which it advises on a range of matters including applications under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 route for individuals to come to the UK to help serve the work at the Church in a variety of roles. Global Innovation Fund, Quant Marketing Company, Natural Resources Charter and Mixam UK are also clients. Philip Trott is a ‘stalwart of the immigration world’ and has ‘vast experience’ in commercial immigration, where recently promoted partner Chetal Patel is also a key figure. Department head Tim Barnden has ‘great client skills and is adept at finding a solution for the client and preparing appeals to the highest standard’; he is particularly known for his work on applications made by couples and families, including advice for LGBT applicants. Senior associate Katie Dilger, who is ‘excellent with clients’ and has a ‘wealth of experience’, is also active in personal and human rights mandates.

Leading individuals

Philip Trott - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Next generation lawyers

Chetal Patel - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Tim Barnden - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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London: Private client

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

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite  ‘takes the times to understand its clients’ values and priorities and then gives advice that is accurate and practical’. The ‘very industriousPhilip Kirkpatrick heads the department and is an ‘imaginative and resourceful thinker’. Thea Longley  ‘attracts high-profile clients and retains their confidence’. Rosamund McCarthy provides ‘clear and sensible advice and works within deadlines’ and Stephanie Biden  provides a ‘consistently excellent service’. Luke Fletcher  gives ‘excellent advice and guidance’ and Laura Soley  is ‘very experienced and level-headed’. Lawrence Simanowitz  is praised for his ‘excellent communication skills and knowledge’. Abbie Rumbold  has particular expertise in the social enterprise sector and associate Lucy Rhodes ‘tenaciously digs away through historical documents to come up with highly useable advice and solutions’. Augustus Della-Porta  is now a partner and Julian Blake  joined Stone King LLP  Clients include Oxfam and the RNIB. The group continues to advise the Royal Albert Hall on various high profile and complex governance and constitutional issues relating to the Hall’s constitution – the constitution was created by Royal Charter and several acts of parliament dating back to 1876. The Samaritans, National Federation of Women’s Institutes and BBC Children in Need are also clients.

Leading individuals

Abbie Rumbold - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Laura Soley - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Lawrence Simanowitz - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Philip Kirkpatrick - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Rosamund McCarthy - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Thea Longley - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Next generation lawyers

Pippa Garland - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 2

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Clients find that 'the level of service is excellent' at Bates Wells Braithwaite. The team takes on a broad range of work including inquiries and the safeguarding of vulnerable groups and acts for both public bodies and claimants. The well-regarded team head Melanie Carter  advises the National Audit office on its audits of local government and NHS bodies and other day-to-day matters. Most recently she advised on the Advisory Notice issued by KPMG (for whom it also acts) on the bankrupt Northants Council. In other work it acted for Airport Coordination following the collapse of Monarch Airlines which included defending a judicial review and involved issues of interpretation of two EU Regulations. Both Carter and Jessica Collings are considered to be 'creative, hardworking and imaginative.' Rupert Earle is noted as 'an outstanding advertising and regulatory law practitioner who is flexible, dependable and has a good team to back him up.' Emma Dowden-Teale , who has been promoted to partner and Claire Whittle  are both noted practitioners.

Leading individuals

Melanie Carter - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Next generation lawyers

Claire Whittle - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Emma Dowden-Teale - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 2

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s education service is headed by Caraline Johnson. It is hailed for 'providing a specialist team of outstanding experts in education backed up by first-rate solicitors in employment, property and public policy'. On the employment side, William Garnett assists colleges; he counts the Association of Colleges among his clients and is considered to have a 'richly deserved national reputation'. Other core team members include Lucy McLynn and recently promoted partner Emma Dowden-Teale, who handles regulatory and safeguarding laws. In a highlight matter, the team advised Bromley College (and Greenwich and Bexley Colleges) on the proposed merger between Bromley and Greenwich, a highly complex matter that included the design of a partnership management model. It is also advising Trinity College London on employment, real estate, IP, governance and commercial matters. Julian Blake has recently moved to Stone King LLP.

Leading individuals

Mary Groom - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 1

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite has 'a specialist team of outstanding experts in education backed up by first-rate solicitors in employment, property and public policy'. It provides advice to early years education providers, schools, academies, multi-academy trusts and their sponsors on the full range of practice areas including charity law. Practice head Caraline Johnson assisted the Mulberry School for Girls with setting up the Mulberry Schools Trust and continues to advise on its expansion. Emma Dowden-Teale, who was recently made up to partner, has a focus on the regulatory side, investigations and appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and Paul Jennings has a wealth of experience advising educational establishments on employment law. Mary Groom has retired from the practice but continues as legal adviser to the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools.

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Electoral
Electoral - ranked: tier 1

Bates Wells Braithwaite

One of the best election law firms’, Bates Wells Braithwaite has an outstanding track record advising on elections, referendums and parliamentary affairs with experts in constitutional, commercial and media law being able to advise across the political spectrum. It continues to advise the Cabinet Office and Lord Hodgson on the Independent Statutory Review into the regulation of non-party campaigning in respect of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, as amended by the controversial Lobbying Act. It also continues to provide a range of advice to 38 Degrees on its campaigning activity. Other clients include Britain Stronger in Europe, the Green Party, the National Union of Students and the Trade Union Congress. Simon Steeden and Rosamund McCarthy co-head the team and Melanie Carter and Jessica Collings are key team members who ‘are both excellent solicitors - creative, hardworking and imaginative.’

Leading individuals

Simon Steeden - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Offering an 'excellent level of service' Bates Wells Braithwaite combines public law specialists with those with regulatory, procurement, state aid, employment and property expertise. Led by the highly respected Melanie Carter the local government audit team is retained by the National Audit Office advising on areas such as local authority financing issue. The team was appointed by Canterbury City Council on the spin out of the Marlowe Theatre to a charity, the Marlowe Trust. It is also advising Wirral Borough Council on the potential spin out of its leisure and cultural services.  Abbie Rumbold heads the public services and Mutuals function and Erica Crump and senior associate Augustus Della-Porta  are noted names.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 4

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite has ‘real strength from partner to associate level’ and is ‘a go-to firm’ for strategic property transactions and letting mandates in the charity, education and social enterprise sectors. In one stand-out matter, the ‘super-efficientMark Traynor advised British Film Institute on the acquisition of a long leasehold interest in site that will be developed into a new National Film Centre. Traynor also assisted Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists with the acquisition of a London freehold premises from PwC. Similarly, newly promoted partner Jamie Huard assisted EEF with a multimillion-pound lease agreement. Also recommended are Anthony Cartmell, who heads the real estate department, and senior associate Karli Hiscock. Additional clients include Imperial Health Charity, YMCA, Goldsmiths College and Save the Children Fund.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 5

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite is an ‘excellent firm which provides a quality service to clients’. The group has a ‘large charity client base’ and is well-regarded for its work in the Third Sector. Lesley Robinson heads the ‘first class’ practice and her ‘thorough attention to detail together with with clarity of insight enables her to succeed in litigation’. Senior associate William Scott is a key name to note and is considered a ‘brilliant strategist’ who ‘can see the wood from the tress’ and ‘ensures his clients are always one step ahead’. Other core strengths for the firm include telecoms issues, dilapidations, service charge disputes and possession claims.

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London: Risk advisory

Reputation management
Reputation management - ranked: tier 3

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite's clients include The Times, politicians, foreign royalty and the NUS. The team is headed by the ‘highly experiencedRupert Earle; Highlights included advising Royal Albert Hall in relation to a series of adverse articles published by The Telegraph and acting for Times Newspapers Limited in a case concerning the recoverability of success fees and after the event insurance premiums from media defendants in conditional fee agreement cases. Ross Allan  and Andrew Wheelhouse  are also recommended.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 3

Bates Wells Braithwaite

The team at Bates Wells Braithwaite  is ‘responsive and provides a great deal of guidance’. Key figures include Rupert Earle, trade mark specialist Mathew Healey, who provides ‘balanced and accurate advice’, and Rosamund McCarthy, who acts for charities and social enterprises. Earle advises the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice on diverse regulatory issues such on e-cigarettes and gender stereotyping. Healy handles trade mark clearance, registration and enforcement matters; he is assisted by Catharina Waller in managing the international trademark portfolio of Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind. Waller is a name to note and is highly recommended for trademark matters, some of her recent instructions include assisting The Institute of Masters of Wine on its global portfolio management. Lawrence Simanowitz is ‘excellent in all areas of brand management’.

Leading individuals

Rupert Earle - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Next generation lawyers

Catharina Waller - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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Media and entertainment (including media finance)
Media and entertainment (including media finance) - ranked: tier 2

Bates Wells Braithwaite

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s expertise spans the arts, theatre, advertising, film and TV. The team advises the British Film Institute (BFI) on a range of issues including real estate, governance, fundraising, data protection, valuation and audience development; other clients include Arts Council England, which it advises on data protection matters; English National Opera, which it advises on employment matters and recently advised on a commercial property acquisition and gift aid project; and The Space CIC, a joint venture between the BBC and Arts Council England, which it advises on review, restructuring, and real estate matters. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Science Museum Group, Royal Albert Hall and Booker Prize Foundation are also clients. Head of advertising and marketing Rupert Earle is ‘highly experienced in advertising law and regulation’ and is ‘knowledgeable, calm, careful, thorough, and displays good judgement’. Erica Crump co-heads the culture and creative team with associates Molly Waiting, who is an ‘absolute star’, and Tom Pratt. Lawrence Simanowitz is noted for his media and arts expertise.

Leading individuals

Rupert Earle (Advertising and marketing) - Bates Wells Braithwaite

Next generation lawyers

Erica Crump (Theatre; film and TV) - Bates Wells Braithwaite

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 4

Bates Wells Braithwaite

With sports charities and governing bodies featuring highly on its client roster, the team at Bates Wells Braithwaite is known for its strength in the charity sector; it also acts for individual sportspeople and assists the Commonwealth Games Federation with restructuring and governance matters, event-hosting agreements and commercial contracts. Thea Longley continued to advise Football Foundation on its sports funding programme Parklife, which aims to better co-ordinate the provision of high-quality football facilities. Other clients include the Rugby Football Union, the Lawn Tennis Association, Table Tennis England and the Premier League Charitable Fund. Martin Gunson is particularly strong in advising sports bodies on obtaining security for grants; associate Lucas Atkin is recommended for sports-related data protection. Of counsel Jane Lougher is highly active in the sports sector.

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