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BDB Pitmans

Work +44 345 222 9222
Fax +44 118 958 5097

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and Commercial: Hampshire
Corporate and Commercial: Hampshire - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

Led by Sean Kelly, the corporate practice at BDB Pitmans demonstrates strong capabilities in private equity transactions; these include management buyouts and deals backed by private equity or venture capital trusts. Oliver Kelly specialises in M&A, buy-ins and buyouts and corporate finance. The firm has been particularly active in matters connected with the travel, marine/transport and IT/technology sectors recently.

Practice head(s):Sean Kelly

Other key lawyers:Oliver Kelly; Roger Gregory

Key Clients

Clipper Ventures

Red Funnel Ferries


Panoramic Growth Equity

ITS Technology

The Appointment

Premier Marinas

Specialist Journeys

Amicus ITS

AJM Healthcare

Work highlights

  • Assisted global travel company The Appointment Group with a buy-out by Apiary Capital.  
  • Assisted AJM Healthcare with a buyout by WestBridge Capital.
  • Assisted Red Funnel Ferries with its group restructuring.
  • Assisted global manufacturer of environmentally-friendly, high-tech material E-Leather with a £70 million fundraising from both new and existing investors.
  • Assisted the shareholders of Inflexion Private Equity with its investment in PMC Treasury.

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Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has expertise in the areas of M&A, takeovers, restructuring and AIM listings. The firm boasts a strong and varied client roster in the financial services, real estate, oil and gas and automotive sectors, among others. Oliver Pilkington has a particular expertise in equity capital markets, and John Hutchinson leads on M&A transactions and private equity investments. Corporate partner Stephanie Perry is noted for acquisitions and disposals, and management buy-outs and buy-ins.

Practice head(s):Oliver Pilkington

Other key lawyers:Stephanie Perry; John Hutchinson

Key Clients

Bridges Fund Management Ltd

FinnCap Limited

Royal Berkshire Shooting Group

Berenberg Bank

Waylands Automotive

Work highlights

  • Advised FinnCap and Berenberg, joint brokers, on a placing of new and existing shares in Taptica International Ltd, to raise gross proceeds of approximately $55m.
  • Advised CALA Homes on its takeover by FTSE-100 insurer Legal & General Capital, following the acquisition of the majority stake for £315m.  
  • Acted for Totaltec Oilfield Services Limited in raising initial equity finance to start up a Guyana based oilfield services company from numerous investors based across several jurisdictions.
  • Advised John O’Hanlon and Waylands Automotive on the acquisition of a Volvo dealership.
Leading individuals

Stephanie Perry - BDB Pitmans

Next Generation Partners

Oliver Pilkington - BDB Pitmans

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Hampshire
Commercial litigation: Hampshire - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

A cornerstone of BDB Pitmans' practice involves handling insurance litigation; the firm has niche technical expertise in subrogated property damage claims for insurers, and it is also active in fraudulent insurance claims. Elsewhere, the team also regularly works on contentious commercial property matters and professional negligence cases. Insolvency litigation expert Rick Munro is the practice head. Alan Davies has more than 35 years of litigation experience.

Practice head(s):Rick Munro

Other key lawyers:Alan Davies; Claire Collings; Sylvia Yendall

Key Clients


Covéa Insurance

Red Funnel Group


Mildren Construction

Merlin Accessories

CPJ Field & Co

Mears Group


Premier Marinas


Kubrick Group

Work highlights

  • Represented SAGA as property insurer in a claim made against a statutory water undertaker arising from an escape of water causing a sinkhole to open up partly in the claimants’ driveway.
  • Acted for Generali as the insurers of an Italian hotel in a lawsuit relating to the claimant sustaining a fall in a guest bathroom.
  • Representing HCR in a possession claim concerning an agreement which purported to be a licence to occupy but was in fact an assured shorthold tenancy.
  • Acted for SAGA as property insurer in a claim against the neighbor of the claimants’ property for extensive damage  to the property by a fire caused by a discarded cigarette.
  • Represent Generali as the insurers of an Italian cycle manufacturer of a bicycle which was subject to a product recall.

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Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans acts for a mix of private clients, shareholders and national and international corporations in IT disputes, contentious corporate and shareholder matters, professional negligence claims and complex commercial disputes.  Tim Clark's  practice focuses on company law-related claims, shareholder and unfair prejudice disputes, while Phil Smith and David Gwillim handle commercial and construction sector disputes respectively.

Practice head(s):Tim Clark

Other key lawyers:Phil Smith; David Gwillim

Key Clients

Sky plc

Langham Homes

Veritas Technologies

Thames Water (and its insurers)

Toshiba Imaging Systems UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the petitioner, a minority shareholder in a coffee chain, in bringing a claim concerning alleged unfair prejudice against three other company directors.
  • Advised the management company of a large private estate in North London in the pursuit, over almost four years, of a claim against a resident who was challenging the company’s rights to control parking on around 6 miles of estate roads which it owned.
Leading individuals

Tim Clark - BDB Pitmans

Next Generation Partners

Phil Smith - BDB Pitmans

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' debt recovery team specialises in the enforcement of liability orders and the collection of unpaid commercial and residential service charges. Active clients include public sector organisations, sole traders, regulatory bodies, accountants and financial institutions. Rick Munro is the lead partner.

Practice head(s):Rick Munro

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South East: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' banking and finance team advises banks, lenders and  borrowers on a wide range of matters, including acquisition finance, corporate debt and equity restructuring, corporate finance and equity investments  in addition to restructuring and insolvency issues. Stephanie Perry heads the practice and Roger Gregory, who splits time between Reading, Southampton and London, is another key contact.

Practice head(s):Stephanie Perry

Other key lawyers:Roger Gregory

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

BDB Pitmans

The 'excellent' insolvency team at BDB Pitmans works on important and high value instructions across various industry sectors in relation to formal insolvencies, restructuring and advisory roles and recovery and asset tracing. Some of the team's specialist sectors include IT, telecoms, construction, retail, hospitality, healthcare and automotive and engineering. The team, based in Reading, is led by the Suzanne Brooker who is described by one client as 'absolutely first class'. 'Next Generation Lawyer' Stacey Jones is another key name to note, with one client describing her as 'absolutely charming but client's know that she will fight to the bitter end to advance their interests'.

Practice head(s):Suzanne Brooker

Other key lawyers:Stacey Jones; William Angus; Noel Ruddy; Dawn Shadwell


'BDB Pitmans has an excellent insolvency and corporate recovery offering. In Reading, the firm does great work, which is worthy of much bigger, London-based firms.'

'What makes them a fantastic firm is the advice, and the fact that I can rely on it implicitly. They are responsive, knowledgeable, creative and value for money. Nice people too'

'They have a strong reputation in all aspects of corporate and commercial work.'

'The safest pairs of hands'

'Stacey Jones is an absolute star. Clients love her. She is absolutely charming but clients know that she will fight to the bitter end to advance their interests.'

'Suzanne Brooker is absolutely first class - she is an excellent lawyer but where she really excels is as a tactician. She really understands and is able to exploit the pressure points of the other side.'

'Suzanne Brooker is not only an outstanding lawyer but also a business woman with strong entrepreneurial flair. '

Key Clients

Wilkins Kennedy LLP (London, Reading, Southampton and Egham offices)

KPMG LLP (Reading, London and Birmingham offices)

PricewaterhouseCoopers (Thames Valley offices)

Grant Thornton UK LLP (Reading and London offices)

BDO LLP (Thames Valley and London offices)

CVR Global LLP (London and Southampton)

Moore Stephens LLP (London and Watford offices)

Quantuma LLP (Marlow, Brighton and Southampton offices)

UHY Hacker Young LLP (London office)

RSM Baker Tilly Creditor Services LLP (London and Southampton offices)

Work highlights

  • Advised Oyster Marine Limited and Oyster Marine Holdings on options and and appointment of administrators
  • Advising joint liquidators in a misfeasance claim against two directors of company in liquidation
  • Advising the trustee in a bankruptcy on the bankrupt’s applications (i) to annul her bankruptcy, and (ii) to set aside the judgment underlying the bankruptcy.
  • Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy in respect of a property developer with a portfolio of investment properties.
Leading individuals

Suzanne Brooker - BDB Pitmans

Next Generation Partners

Stacey Jones - BDB Pitmans

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Hampshire
Employment: Hampshire - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

With a key specialisation in contentious employment work, BDB Pitmans' team has significant experience of representing both claimants and respondents. Team head Jonathan Gray has a strong track record in employment tribunal advocacy. On the non-contentious side, the group provides day-to-day HR and employment support on corporate transactions. Working closely with the firm's pensions department, the group is also able to advise on employee benefits.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Gray

Other key lawyers:Claire Anderson


'A fantastic commercially-minded approach to any work we have given them. I would highly recommend'.

'Jonathan Gray is always accessible and provides first class advice and support for our business'.

Key Clients


The Highwood Group

The Concorde Club and Hotel

Interesting Hotels

Crittall Windows

London Irish

The Wilton Carpet Factory

The Appointment Group

Delicious Dining Group

Gallowglass Group

Work highlights

  • Acting in defence of Marblesea in a claim for pregnancy, sex and disability discrimination and dismissal.
  • Acted for David Jeffery in his successful Court of Appeal hearing against The British Council.
  • Represented London Irish in a dismissal claim in which the act of dismissal was in dispute.
  • Assisted The Appointment Group with all employment aspects of the buyout by Apiary Capital .
  • Assisting Community with protecting the employment and pension rights of the British Steel workers, in particular their early retirement benefits.

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Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

Areas of expertise for BDB Pitmans include supporting employers in the employment and HR aspects of business structuring and transactions, diversity, employment disputes and avoidance, equal opportunities, industrial relations, workplace contracts, policies and benefits. Angela Shields is the key figure for non-contentious matters, including on issues related to worker status, disciplinary matters and terminations, as well as representing claimants and defending employers in Employment Tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):Angela Shield

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Immigration - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' international business immigration service primarily focuses on advising on global mobility issues. Key areas of expertise include Tiers 1, 2 and 5 applications, sponsor licence applications and preparation for Home Office audits. Jonathan Gray heads the practice from the Southampton office.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Gray

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Pensions - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans demonstrates strong capabilities in relation to benefit restructuring, in addition to niche expertise in SIPPs, SSASs and other executive arrangements, including QROPS. Lead partner David Hosford is also experienced in drafting master trusts, both for group life (and excepted life) cover and defined contribution schemes.

Practice head(s):David Hosford

Key Clients

Chas A Blatchford & Sons Limited Group Pension Scheme

Applied Industrial Materials UK Limited Retirement & Death Benefit Plan

Swedish Match UK Pension Fund

Robert Dyas Limited Pension & Life Assurance Scheme

Banco Santander Totta Staff Security Plan

Work highlights

  • Advising the trustees regarding the implications of the sale of the sponsoring employer.
  • Reviewing investment management agreements in relation to intended investment in alternative asset classes.
  • Advice to scheme trustees regarding closure of the scheme to future benefit accrual.

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South East: Insurance

Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans' personal injury defence team handles industrial disease claims and public liability matters. Ferhat Choudri focuses on catastrophic claims and road traffic accidents, and also has experience in significant cross-border claims, having worked across France, Italy, and Mexico.

Other key lawyers:Ferhat Choudri; Justine Waby

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South East: Private client

Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Family: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

The family law practice of BDB Pitmans  regularly coordinate with the private client practice to offer a one-stop shop for family and child law non-contentious matters, dispute resolution, injunctions and trusts of land claims. Matt Heyworth is the lead practitioner.

Practice head(s):Matt Heyworth


Personable, friendly manner and a professional approach. The whole team provided comprehensive support and efficient backup.’

I’m very impressed and confident with the advice Matthew Heyworth gave, his breadth of knowledge and ability to convey it in an understandable manner is very reassuring when faced with complex legal definitions and procedures. ‘

Matt Heyworth is an outstanding family lawyer who understands the finances and is very good with the maths. Reassuring yet professional and a lawyer who boosts your confidence.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 4

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans added complementary expertise from its recent merger with Bircham Dyson Bell in November 2018. Sheila Magee heads the Reading-based team and is able to draw upon her real estate expertise to advise clients with landed estates on estate management issues, in addition to assisting domestic and international domiciled and elderly clients on a wide range of private client issues. Senior associate Alexander Morgan specialises in wills and lifetime trust drafting, probate applications and elderly client care matters. David Ainslie retired in March 2018.

Practice head(s):Sheila Magee

Other key lawyers:Alexander Morgan


Very efficient and effective service, with close attention to detail and clear explanations of what was required and why in the form of regular and comprehensive updates.

Excellent personal service and keenness to help was evident from outset.’

Sheila Magee provided close and expert advice and help from the outset.

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South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Hampshire
Commercial property: Hampshire - ranked: tier 4

BDB Pitmans

The key names in BDB Pitmans' real estate team are consultants John Newton and Nick Todd. Specialisms of the practice include the acquisition and disposal of farms and agricultural estates, and also the promotion and sale of agricultural and rural land to leading residential developers. The team also has notable expertise in the marine sector, with Newton and Todd acting for a number of regional heavyweight clients, including Premier Marinas, Red Funnel Ferries and Solent & Wight Line Cruises.

Practice head(s):John Newton

Work highlights

  • Advised on the complex £30m restructuring and demerger of family farming company involving mixture of farming partnership assets, forestry, development sites and investment properties across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.
  • Assisted with a £2.4m purchase of multi-let commercial investment property in Windsor for investment company/developer.
  • Sale of part of an extensive agricultural estate in Gloucestershire.
  • Purchase of various waterfront assets and properties with complex insolvency and contamination issues worth in the region of £10m on behalf of our client.

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Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans  largely focuses on residential developments and also assists corporate occupiers, landlords and tenants with acquisitions and sales, leases and promotion agreements. Delphine Mehouas advises residential developers in connection to strategic land purchase, contracts and conditional agreements subject to planning. Also of note are Sarah Potter for institutional investors and Marcus McCluggage for acquisitions and landlord and tenant matters. Paul Murray joined Shoosmiths LLP in July 2018.

Practice head(s):Sarah Potter

Other key lawyers:Sarah Potter; Delphine Mehouas

Key Clients

Bewley Homes

Shanly Homes

Millgate Homes

Spitfire Bespoke Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the landlord in respect of granting three leases to Kimble Applications Limited, Joseph Joseph Limited and Next Communications Group.
  • Advising Bewley Homes in respect of the sale and lease of part of SANG Land in Ash, Guildford to the Land Restoration Trust

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Construction - ranked: tier 3

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans 'unique' construction and engineering group supports clients at all stages of the construction process, from site acquisition, planning and procurement advice to disputes (including adjudication). Besides residential developers, the team regularly acts for marine engineering and hospitality clients (the firm has key specialisms in the last two sectors). Practice head David Gwillim boasts over 35 years of construction law experience.

Practice head(s):David Gwillim


'The team provides the same excellent service as larger firms but with the additions of a personal approach and reasonable fees'.

'They are willing to spend time ensuring the client understands the issues, so it can make the most well-informed decision'.

Key Clients

Commercial Glass (London) Limited

Oxford Homes Limited

Domus (UK) Limited, timber framing contractors

CALA Homes formerly Banner Homes

Pedersen Group, hotels

Choiceplace Properties

Frazer-Nash Research Limited, automotive, including Bristol Cars and Metrocab

D+D Rail Limited, rail contractors

Space-Q Studio Limited

Element Six Limited part of the DeBeers Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for this residential developer in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive concerning the alleged breaches of the CDM Regulations 2015 in relation to two construction sites.
  • Acting for this Anglo-Malaysian Architectural Practice in successful adjudication proceedings. Obtaining an adjudicator’s Decision.
  • Acting for this specialist contractor in connection with various work packages to be carried out at the Matthew Arnold School for Oxfordshire County Council to a value of £1.8m.
  • This new client instructed BDB Pitmans LLP to seek recovery of a favourable adjudicator’s Decision by commencing enforcement proceedings in the TCC. The matter went to a fully contested hearing.
  • The management arm of CALA Homes. Acting in relation to the head office refurbishment for CALA Homes in England including advising on risk management and drafting a suite of contracts.

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Planning - ranked: tier 2

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans's planning department is led by Christina Daniels, who specialises in the planning aspects of residential and mixed-use developments. Daniels also has expertise in highway rights of way, village green and assets of community value work. The team also negotiates and challenges section 106 agreements, provides strategic planning advice on large sites and advises on CIL. Elsewhere, it supports the firm's real estate practice with the planning aspects of major development contracts.

Practice head(s):Christina Daniels

Key Clients

Cala Group Limited/Banner Homes Group Limited

Redrow Homes Limited

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Highwood Group Limited

Bewley Homes PLC

Millgate Developments Limited

Shanly Homes Limited

Ashill Land Limited

Oakford Homes Limited

Fairview Homes Limited

Vanderbilt Homes Limited

Troy Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting jointly for Highwood in renegotiating the s106 Agreement for a 700 unit development including affordable housing, employment land and various other facilities.
  • Acting for Redrow Homes Limited on the negotiation of s106 planning obligations and associated deed of variations and infrastructure agreements together with providing bespoke planning advice across a number of the client's sites.
  • Acting for new client Fairview Homes Limited on various highway and infrastructure matters, including advice on rights of way stopping up and diversion orders and section agreements for the provision of highways, sewer and electricity infrastructure.
  • Acting for Banner Homes/CALA in the Court of Appeal in connection with an appeal against the listing of one of their sites as an Asset of Community Value by the local District Council.
  • Acting for Bewley Homes PLC on the negotiation of the variation of two s106 agreements to secure the delivery of SANG land to allow development on two site to proceed.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans, which undertakes a significant amount of advocacy in-house, is well-known for acting for major real estate developers in complex disputes. In addition, it represents private individuals and companies in landlord and tenant litigation, and it also excels in real estate litigation involving insolvency issues and construction disputes. Practice head Phil Smith is the name to note.

Practice head(s):Phil Smith

Key Clients

CALA Homes (formerly Banner Homes)

Bewley Homes


Thames Water

Toshiba Tec UK Imaging Systems Ltd

Langham Homes

Hibu (UK) Ltd

Vanderbilt Homes

CVR Global LLP

Shanly Homes

Karali Limited

Moor Park (1958) Ltd

Work highlights

  • The firm assisted the management company of a large (500+ houses) private estate in North London in the enforcement of its rights over the approximately 6 miles of estate roads which it owned.
  • The firm is providing ongoing advice to CALA on a substantial project to regularise the use of a private sewage treatment plant in the West Midlands. The matter is notable because of the amount in issue – approximately £1 million – and that there are presently around 45 counterparties and prospective Defendants to the claim.
  • Advice to a private individual on responding to appeal now proceeding in the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery), following success in first instance at First Tier Tribunal (Land Registration). The case arose from a claim for adverse possession arising out of an initial boundary dispute.
  • Advising Sky Telecommunications Services Ltd on a claim against JB Riney following road works carried out in Holborn Circus, London, severing the fibre optic network, causing a significant network outage. The matter involved a series of potential defendants and Part 20 defendants seeking to apportion blame elsewhere, represented through a web of insurers, loss adjusters and experts.
  • The firm assisted Vanderbilt Homes Ltd with the defence of various claims raised by an adjoining owner in nuisance, under the Part Wall Act and in alleged infringement of the adjoining owner’s rights of drainage.

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South East: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans's team is headed by Philip Smith who is especially experienced in handling TMT-related disputes. It is also notable for its skills in relation to licensing, outsourcing and counts established tech companies and start ups among its clients.  Tim Clark has broad expertise in the IT sector acting for software vendors, distributors and systems integrators and has of late,  advised on a number of security breaches. Partner Philip Weaver and associate Marie Evrard focus on the corporate/commercial side, advising on areas such as outsourcing, licensing transactions, channel partner agreements and distribution agreements.

Practice head(s):Philip Smith

Other key lawyers:Tim Clark; Philip Weaver; Marie Evrard


'They have strength in depth, commerciality and responsiveness.'

'We had an excellent experience - they have a practical approach.'

Key Clients

KAI Computer Services Ltd

Sky plc (and numerous subsidiaries and group companies)

Sondrel Ltd (and group)

Westcoast Group

Toshiba TEC UK Imaging Systems Limited

Humax Electronics Co. Ltd

Noble Systems UK Ltd

Gamma Telecom plc (and group)

360Globalnet Ltd

Kymaner – Technologias Energeticas Ida

Vipera plc

Sol-Tec Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for KAI Computer Services, a financial and production management software specialist. Work has included a software licence and maintenance agreement with All3 Media Limited; a precedent licence for KAI’s Octopus PMI software and other software licences and maintenance agreements.
  • Acting for Sky in defence of a claim brought by TelNG Limited and (by way of Part 20 Claim against Sky) BT plc. The matter concerns Sky’s withholding of wholesale call charges relating to numbers operated by TelNG which Sky asserts constitute Artificially Inflated Traffic. (AIT).
  • Advised Sol-Tec Limited, a cloud services company, on two disputes. One related to the termination of a managed services agreement and the second was in respect of an email migration project for a local authority.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Vipera plc on its takeover by Sella Open Fintech Platform SPA. A matter valued at £24.3m.

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Further information on BDB Pitmans

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about BDB Pitmans in other jurisdictions.

East Anglia

Offices in Cambridge


Offices in London

South East

Offices in Reading RG1, Southampton, and READING RG1

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