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Osborne Clarke

2 TEMPLE BACK EAST, TEMPLE QUAY, BRISTOL, BS1 6EG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0117 917 3000
Fax:
Fax 0117 917 3005
DX:
7818 BRISTOL
Email:
Web:
https://www.osborneclarke.com
Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brescia, Bristol, Brussels and 12 more

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke is noted for its ‘excellent strength in depth’ and has continued to expand its team through a number of promotions and junior-level hires, in part to keep pace with its rapidly increasing work flows in 2017-2018. The practice's sector expertise spans digital business, corporate real estate, infrastructure, and investment funds; one of the team’s most unique features is its capability across the spectrum of funds-related mandates, from fund-backed M&A to fund formation. Alisdair Livingstone advised Lloyds Development Capital and the senior management of A-Gas on the sale of A-Gas International to KKR, while the team assisted Deutsche Alternative Asset Management with the structuring and establishment of the Europe II Fund, which achieved €588m at its first close. Helen Parsonage is another key contact in the funds team. The practice is also able to devise flexible payment schemes for promising start-ups and early-stage businesses. The ‘professional and reliable’ Simon Jones acted for Prodigy Finance, a fintech start-up, in a financing round involving venture capital funders Index Ventures, Balderton Capital, and AlphaCode. Mark Wesker assisted Actual Experience with a bookbuilding exercise through a new ordinary share placement, and Matthew Lewis has been involved in high-value cross-border disposals in the energy industry. Conrad Davies, Simon Spooner and David Ferris are additional contacts.

Leading individuals

Alisdair Livingstone - Osborne Clarke

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

The tax team at Osborne Clarke is regularly called upon to provide comprehensive structuring advice to support the firm’s top-tier real estate, projects and corporate teams. Quite unique outside of London, the department also has expertise in the tax aspects of fund formation and partnership restructuring. Head of the international tax department Erika Jupe acted for Actavis UK and Actavis Ireland in relation to Teva’s £603m divestment of Actavis to India-headquartered Intas Pharmaceuticals; a European antitrust requirement following the Israeli pharmaceutical giant’s acquisition of Allergan’s generics business. Tracey Wright heads the UK tax team and is rated for her ability to ‘anticipate problems in advance and find practical solutions’ to property tax issues. Wright assisted real estate investment manager M&G RPF with the tax structuring of two build-to-rent forward funding acquisitions of sites in Ilford and Wembley. In 2017, former practice head Michael Bell left the firm for an in-house role.

Leading individuals

Tracey Wright - Osborne Clarke

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke is ‘a go-to law firm’ for non-contentious merger control, state aid and regulatory compliance advice in the technology, telecoms and media, transport and retail sectors. The firm also has perhaps the region’s most prolific antitrust litigation practice. Indeed, Andrew Bartlett is advising the liquidators of Granville Technology Group on two separate follow-on damages claims arising from the EC’s highly publicised decisions concerning the operation of cartels in the DRAM memory and LCD screen industries. ‘A collaborative and calm commercial adviser’, Simon Neill is assisting Fexco Merchant Services with its complaint to the EC concerning its ongoing investigation into dynamic currency conversion. Neill was also instructed by White & Black Limited to advise Matchesfashion.com on the merger control aspects of the sale of a majority stake to Apax Partners. Marc Shrimpling has a wide-ranging practice covering market investigations, merger control and state aid. Shrimpling, who made partner in 2017, is acting for EE in connection with the Home Office’s procurement for the emergency services mobile communications programme. Other recommended contacts include senior associate Zoe Hodgins and Catherine Wolfenden, the latter of whom specialises in public procurement.

Next generation lawyers

Marc Shrimpling - Osborne Clarke

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Known for its ‘first-class client service’, the team at Osborne Clarke specialises in multi-jurisdictional commercial disputes and is highly regarded for procurement litigation. Headed by Leona Briggs, the department has handled a range of complex fraud claims, procurement challenges, cross-border contract litigation, director and shareholder disputes, and arbitration proceedings. The ‘highly recommended’ Charlie Wedin advised Dynasafe Minetech on a number of claims and counter-claims in relation to a terminated contract with a South African company. Additionally, following Mademoiselle Desserts’ acquisition of Ministry of Cake, Clare Robinson is representing two former directors and shareholders of Ministry of Cake in various fraud and conspiracy claims brought by the company’s purchasers. Peter Clough often handles disputes in the technology and financial services sectors and has extensive experience in matters involving CIS or Russian participants. Catherine Wolfenden is a ‘go-to procurement litigator’, who has handled procurement challenges for a number of well-known corporates and listed companies. Tom Ellis, Claudia Glover, and senior associate Tom Frapwell are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Peter Clough - Osborne Clarke

Next generation lawyers

Charlie Wedin - Osborne Clarke

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

With strengths in borrower and lender-side instructions, Osborne Clarke provides ‘excellent all-round service’ and has developed particular expertise in private equity-related transactions, including leveraged M&A and MBOs. The team has preferred relationships with four of the five most significant banks active in the South West, including RBS, Barclays and Santander. Tom Bussy acted for HSBC Bank on the buyout financing for Lloyds Development Capital’s investment in Vista, which saw the company’s previous backers, WestBridge Capital and Octopus Investments, exit their investment. Bussy has also been involved in high-value syndicated acquisition finance transactions and cross-border refinancing. Moreover, the department has considerable experience in energy-related finance and investment transactions. Associate director Caroline Saul advised Oxford Capital Partners on the £78.8m refinancing of a large portfolio of ground-mounted and rooftop solar assets. Similarly, the ‘commercially minded’ department head Omar Al-Nuaimi assisted Foresight Group, as borrower, with a £100m debt financing transaction with RBS regarding a portfolio of 26 solar farms. Additional borrower clients include XP Power, HH Global, Standard Life Aberdeen and multiple FTSE 100 companies.

Leading individuals

Omar Al-Nuaimi - Osborne Clarke

Tom Bussy - Osborne Clarke

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

Osborne Clarke

Leveraging its ability to ‘pull together specialist multidisciplinary teams’, Osborne Clarke is regularly engaged by company administrators in large restructuring and insolvency mandates. The Bristol team is led by Nigel Boobier, who is ‘one of the leading insolvency lawyers in the South West’. Boobier is acting for the administrators of Agent Provocateur in relation to the pre-packaged sale of the insolvent’s UK business and assets, and also handled the post-appointment sale of the company’s European properties and other certain business assets. In the public sector, Boobier assisted a local authority with an application for administration for a public organisation against HMRC’s application for winding-up. Claire Bundy co-leads a team that is advising KPMG, as the administrators of Pulse Flexible Packaging, in relation to the company’s ongoing operation. Moreover, the team has experience acting for distressed companies in multimillion-pound debt restructurings, and is also instructed by banks and various investors in enforcement and recovery procedures.

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke  handles national and cross-border matters, including those with complex jurisdictional issues. It has a particular focus on the digital business, energy and natural resources, real estate and infrastructure, retail, finance, defence, bioscience and recruitment sectors, and assists clients with employment tribunal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. It also advises on business restructuring and TUPE matters, as well as team moves, redundancy and contract appointments. Partner Julian Hemming recently advised on employment, TUPE, remuneration, FCA regulatory and governance issues concerning the transfer of 10 local government pension schemes to Brunel Pension Partnership. Other clients include Vodafone, for which it handles all UK employment litigation; this matter is led by Paul Killen. Tech Mahindra, Deckers Brands, Allegis, Air Canada, The Medical Defence Union, Axway, Grifols and Motorola are also clients.  

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke advises on high-profile investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and police. This includes support in regulatory investigations, prosecutions, advisory and personal injury defence, incident investigation, inquest proceedings, criminal prosecutions and regulator interventions. The firm is increasingly focusing on mental health and has been advising clients on the topic. It also advises international clients in the impact of Brexit on health and safety liability and compliance. Mary Lawrence heads the practice and is ‘hugely experienced, down to earth and a pleasure to work with’. Senior associate Jo Forbes provides ‘excellent client care’ and Anna Lundy, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland, is ‘a fantastic addition to the team’. John McGovern joined the team as a consultant.

Leading individuals

Mary Lawrence - Osborne Clarke

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke provides advice on corporate insolvency and public sector, private sector and third sector pensions. It advises on issues around the local government pension scheme (LGPS) including outsourcing, investment strategy, governance and benefit issues. It also deals with pensions disputes, complex pension scheme investment, investment and custodianship of scheme assets, private equity, currency hedging and corporate work involving pension schemes. Paul Matthews  led the team advising trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund in relation to ongoing legal matters, day-to-day benefit queries, GDPR integration and benefit calculation queries. Jonathan Hazlett  heads the team and advised the trustees of the National Museum of Wales Pension Scheme in relation to changes to future service benefits, including a move to career average benefits. Mark Womersley  and Brent Wright , who is ‘a very high-level performer with great technical analysis', specialise in public sector pensions and LGPS matters. Alicia Cain  joined as senior associate

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South West: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 2

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke advises on negligence cases for accountancy practices, pension providers and construction companies. It conducts claimant and defendant work for accountancy firms with a bias toward the defendant side. With regards to pension providers it advises on high-profile and high-value claims for trustees and companies, usually against investment advisers, pension providers, solicitors and actuaries. In relation to construction and property-related negligence the firm conducts litigation and advises on claims against surveyors, valuers, engineers, architects and contractors. Leona Briggs heads the team and has a commercial approach to resolving disputes. Tom Ellis is experienced at defendant and claimant work and has a client focus in the accountancy sector. Clare Robinson specialises in claimant work against solicitors, accountants and surveyors. Charles Crowne deals with claims against accountants and financial advisers and Paul Matthews deals with complex high-value pension’s litigation. Clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Wincanton, Harrods Bank, Midas Retail, VocaLink, Manitou, Sotheby's Grant Thornton.

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke’s energy lawyers have particular expertise in corporate energy transactions and litigation, and in those respects the team ‘compares favourably to its South West competition’. Department head Alan John advised Foresight Group on its acquisition of Shotwick, which is the largest solar park in the UK. David Ferris, who has ‘real expertise in energy sector corporate transactions’, counselled innogy on its acquisition of Statkraft’s 50% holding in the Triton Knoll offshore wind project. Additionally, the team acted for Solarplicity in relation to a joint venture investment by Maas Capital for the installation of solar panels to provide electricity for affordable housing tenants across the UK, and also advised John Laing Investments on the acquisition, development and refinancing of an onshore wind farm. On the contentious side, Catherine Wolfenden is co-leading a team that is involved in a major judicial review procedure with nationwide industry effects. Also recommended are Carl Thompson, Matthew Lewis and Lara Burch.

Leading individuals

David Ferris - Osborne Clarke

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

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke provides ‘the full range of advice required for a major project financing arrangement, including taxation, property, construction and debt financing’. With particular expertise in the renewables and student accommodation projects, the team is regularly involved in refinancing mature PFI and PPP projects, and is increasingly instructed by infrastructure funds. For example, Andrew Normington and Simon Hancock acted for Dutch Infrastructure Fund in relation to its acquisition and debt refinancing of three local infrastructure projects in the UK. Further, Normington advised a borrower on the financing of multiple energy storage projects and gas-fired generation projects. The team also advised John Laing Investments on a £45m acquisition, development and refinancing of an onshore wind farm. Department head Chris Wade assisted Arlington Seaside with the acquisition and simultaneous debt financing of a portfolio of student accommodation projects. Catherine Wolfenden has expertise in UK and EU procurement law and Omar Al-Nuaimi was involved in a number of project portfolio refinancings in 2017.

Leading individuals

Catherine Wolfenden - Osborne Clarke

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South West: Public sector

Health
Health - ranked: tier 3

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke specialises in healthcare-related PPP and PFI projects, procurement, contractual issues, and social care accommodation projects. The practice also advises on NHS outsourcing, facilities management services, NHS energy efficiency services and regulatory matters, in addition to handling funding and competition, EU and state aid issues. Simon Hancock heads the team and specialises in major infrastructure and outsourcing procurements. Catherine Wolfenden focuses on regulated public and utilities procurement; she has ‘industry leading knowledge, is nationally respected and understands business and company objectives’. Janita Good heads the UK life sciences and healthcare group, she focuses on corporate and IP matters. The ‘strong’ team has ‘extensive knowledge of a complex market’ and has ‘extremely quick response times’. Recent highlights include advising Shaw Healthcare on the provision of a retirement living village to Bristol City Council. Other clients include Imtech Engineering Services North, Imtech Low Carbon Solutions and Grifols.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Bristol
Commercial property: Bristol - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

The team at Osborne Clarke ‘provides a level of service that matches anyone out there, while being personable and easy to deal with in a way one doesn’t always get with London firms’. Headed by Ian Wilkinson (‘a vastly experienced property lawyer’) the real estate group is especially strong in asset management mandates and property investment transactions in the student housing, renewable energy and retail sectors. Working alongside the funds and tax teams, Wilkinson assisted CBRE Long Income Property Club No1 Unit Trust with its £161m acquisition of the Park Plaza Hotel at Waterloo in London. David North advised Arlington Investors on the acquisition and debt financing of a portfolio of fully let student accommodation assets. The team also advised Credit Suisse on the forward funding in connection with the £56m acquisition of Two Central Square, Cardiff. Dolf Darnton assisted Mitie Group with the relocation of its UK headquarters to the Shard in London, and handles ongoing real estate matters for Marks & Spencer. In the development space, Michelle McGurl acted for Barratt Developments in relation to a £100m development at Ebbsfleet. Additional contacts include associate director Alice Conway, legal director Matt Ashley and David Powell, who heads the development practice.

Leading individuals

David North - Osborne Clarke

Ian Wilkinson - Osborne Clarke

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke’s construction department is ‘exceptional’. The non-contentious group advises suppliers and purchasers on a range of projects including renewable energy and student accommodation developments, but the group is perhaps best known as ‘the go-to construction disputes team in the region’. Associate director David Kirkpatrick regularly represents some of the largest national and European construction companies in high-value construction disputes. In the non-contentious space, Philip Davies assisted Brighton and Hove City Council with the construction procurement for the £500m redevelopment of the Brighton Conference Centre. Davies is also advising U and I Group on the construction aspects of a number of commercial developments and mixed-use regeneration projects in the Greater London environs. Additional contacts include Carl Thompson, associate director Sarah McCool and legal director Alexandra Gower.

Leading individuals

Philip Davies - Osborne Clarke

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Osborne Clarke

Working across a range of industry sectors, Osborne Clarke regularly advises its clients on environmental concerns relating to renewables and housing development, distribution and supply chain agreements and climate change regulation. Matthew Germain is instructed by a number of corporate utility providers and waste management groups and is acting for those clients on the environmental aspects of various infrastructure projects. Germain also represented a recycling company in a major investigation by the Environment Agency. Moreover, the department has a dedicated contentious environmental practice led by senior associate Georgia Lythgoe, who specialises in health and safety and environmental crime. Alan John heads the environment department and senior associate Caroline Bush is another active member of the team. Key clients include Churngold Recycling, Northacre Renewable Energy and Barratt London.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

With key instructions from national house builders, Osborne Clarke is often involved in large residential and mixed-use regeneration projects. The ‘user-friendly’ team also provides ‘clear and concise strategic advice’ to retail-sector corporates on contentious and non-contentious planning issues, and has extensive experience in renewable energy developments. Having advised Western Power Distribution on the planning aspects of the Brechfa Forest Wind Farm, Neil Bromwich, who jointly heads the practice alongside a London-based partner, has received two additional instructions from the client: one concerning the M4 motorway around Newport, and the other regarding HS2. Bromwich is also acting for Taylor Wimpey in relation to a controversial housing scheme in Bristol, which aims to provide 4,500 new houses. Associate director John Webster assisted CoPlan Estates with the compulsory purchase order for a regeneration site in Surrey, which will be developed into a large leisure and retail space. Senior associate Richard Harding provides ongoing planning advice to Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes and Bloor Homes.

Next generation lawyers

John Webster - Osborne Clarke

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Known for its ‘pragmatic and results-driven’ approach, Osborne Clarke has expertise in real estate development disputes and landlord and tenant matters, and has become ‘a standout firm for utilities sector disputes’. Indeed, newly promoted partner David Shakesby has been called ‘an invaluable asset’ for investors and developers in the utilities and renewable energy sectors. Shakesby is assisting SSE with a project to procure land rights, through compulsory purchase order, for the purpose of constructing underground network reinforcement cables. Emily Van Schalkwyk is ‘a hardworking and organised’ associate director who focuses on energy infrastructure and development disputes. The department is headed by Leona Briggs, who is by some clients’ reckoning ‘one of the best property lawyers in the region’; she is advising a household-name online business on certain UK property regulations governing issues such as premises management and tenancy deposits. Briggs is also representing Vodafone in a complex landlord and tenant dispute. Associate director Sue Thompson leads the residential landlord and tenant sub-group. Additional clients include Western Power Distribution, Ward Homes and Heineken.

Leading individuals

Leona Briggs - Osborne Clarke

Next generation lawyers

David Shakesby - Osborne Clarke

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke  provides ‘pragmatic solutions’ and is noted for its strength the digital business sector. Will Robertson heads the team and has a particular focus on technology and privacy law; he advised Bunnings in relation to a variety of business-critical IT projects for its newly acquired company Homebase. Tom Harding heads the interactive entertainment practice and advises Microsoft in relation to multi-jurisdictional content acquisition and licensing deals. Senior Associate Eleanor Locke specialises in commercial contracts, software arrangements and IP issues. Charlie Wedin focuses on litigation and acted for Dell in a dispute against Lebanese company Systems Equipment Telecommunications Service, which claims to have exclusive rights to sell Dell products in Lebanon. Mark Wesker , Simon Spooner and Peter Clough are also recommended.

Next generation lawyers

Charlie Wedin - Osborne Clarke

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke advises on contentious and non-contentious IP work such as filing and prosecution work. It has a filing practice that is spread across the London and Bristol offices. The firm receives work through its international office network and is adept at handling multijurisdictional matters and representing clients in IP litigation matters. Clare Robinson heads the team and led on advising Kerry Ingredients (UK) in a successful claim against Bakkavor for misuse of confidential information in relation to its recipes and manufacturing process for edible infused oils. Tom Harding advised Microsoft on content acquisition and licensing deals for Xbox and MSN services. Will Robertson advised HHGL (formerly Homebase) on negotiations of licenses and IP use from various manufacturers in relation to advanced paint tinting technology. Douglas Peden specialises contentious trade mark and copyright issues. Claudia Glover focuses on IP litigation and global portfolio protection. Arty Rajendra and Mark Foreman joined the London office from Rouse IP Limited. Other clients include RS Components, Vodafone, Siemens, Eurostar International, Compagnie Gervais Danone, Western Power Distribution, Surf Telecoms and Simba Sleep.

Leading individuals

Clare Robinson - Osborne Clarke

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke provides advice on TV broadcasting, internet only TV services, digital platforms, gaming, social media, interactive content, publishing, marketing and advertising, and EU and competition issues. It advises an array of multinational clients in the technology sector such as Square Enix, Facebook, Yahoo!, Virgin Media, Bose and Miniclip. Recent work highlights include acting for Expedia in relation to advertising services and marketing communications. It also assisted Gram Games with the opening of its London office and a range of commercial and regulatory issues. Another highlight includes advising Compagnie Gervais Danone with numerous IP issues in relation to its advertising campaigns for Actimel. Tom Harding heads the team, he specialises in commercial transactions, regulatory issues and the production and exploitation of interactive entertainment products and services. Clare Robinson specialises in IP litigation focusing on the technology and digital business sectors. The team provides ‘a very good level of service, knowledge of online content and the regulatory landscape’.

Leading individuals

Tom Harding - Osborne Clarke

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South West: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 1

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke advises manufacturers, rolling stock leasing companies and train operating companies on issues such as procurement, leasing, corporate and commercial issues, public law and pensions. Lara Burch heads the team and led on advising Cross Country Trains in the award of the Cross Country rail franchise and subsequent implementation in a deal worth around £1.5bn. Another highlight includes providing day-to-day advice to Eurostar, dealing with employment tribunals and also Eurostar’s multijurisdictional IP portfolio. A further highlight includes advising Eversholt Rail Group on new build rolling stock projects involving multi-party negotiations with train operators, manufacturers and stakeholders. The firm also advised Ricardo Rail’s commercial team on collaboration, sales, supply and maintenance arrangements with another rail technology company in relation to marketing and provision of on-board rail asset monitoring equipment. Jeremy Godley deals with franchise bids, rolling stock procurement and rail regulation. Simon Smith deals with corporate issues. Catherine Wolfenden specialises in procurement, she is ‘very responsive’ and has ‘a great knowledge of her practice area’. Clive Smith left the firm for Addleshaw Goddard.

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