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Pitmans LLP

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



Bircham Dyson Bell is a firm of award-winning lawyers advising a range of commercial companies, public sector bodies, charities and private clients. The firm's approach and track record has enabled it to grow and to attract some of the brightest legal talent in the profession; many of its solicitors are independently recognised as leaders in their practice areas.

The firm: The firm is an award-winning, top-100 law firm with offices in London and Cambridge. It works with clients across a variety of major practice areas, with a focus on planning and major projects, public law, corporate and commercial and real estate. These skills complement the traditional strengths the firm has in private wealth, family, employment, litigation, charity and the not-for-profit sectors. One area of special interest is in the advice Bircham Dyson Bell gives on influencing government policy and legislation. The firm has a market-leading position in the areas of transport infrastructure and other major projects, public inquiries and promoting or opposing private and local legislation. Four Roll A parliamentary agents practise at the firm.

As a member of Lexwork International and Eureseau, associations of independent law firms, Bircham Dyson Bell has connections with firms in other European, Asian and North American cities.

Types of work undertaken: Agriculture: the firm has a strong practice in acting for individuals and institutions engaged in farming and the ownership of agricultural land and landed estate.

Charities and not-for-profit: in the third sector, the firm's award-winning charities and not-for-profit team remains a leader in its field, with over 450 UK and international charity clients.

Contentious trusts and estates: work is largely international and the team handles a wide range of trustee difficulties from issues with HMRC, beneficiary disputes, investment losses, administrative difficulties, and allegations of corrupt purposes.

Corporate and commercial services: the team provides a full range of services, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, listings, joint ventures and restructurings. The team is recognised for assisting multinational companies and owner businesses in a wide range of mid-size transactions.

Employment: the firm's large specialist employment group acts for employers across a number of sectors, as well as acting for individuals. While the employment group takes a significant role in supporting commercial transactions, the main stay of its practice lies in assisting commercial organisations in dealing with confidential and strategic issues that are at the core of their businesses.

Family: the family group has a recognised reputation in advising high-net-worth clients with international assets, involving associated disputes over jurisdiction for the divorce case or family trusts.

Government and infrastructure: the group is a market leader, working on some of the biggest and most important infrastructure and regeneration projects in the UK and advising on a wide range of planning, environmental, compulsory purchase, regulatory/public law, public affairs and parliamentary issues. Clients include National Grid, Transport for London, Merseytravel, Midland Connect and CCS, Port of London Authority, National Audit Office, Legal Services Board and Health and Care Professions Council.

Intellectual property: the IP team has specialist expertise in: managing brands for charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises; certification and collective marks for trade and professional associations and regulators; Protected Geographical Indicators (PGIs) and Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs); patents in standards; designs; and IP strategy in China.

Litigation: the litigation team continues to carve out a niche in judicial review cases, while growing its commercial and property divisions.

Private wealth: the private wealth team is one of the largest in the UK, offering a full service to individuals, families and trustees with an expanding global reach. The team is well known for its expertise in UK and international tax and estate planning, UK and offshore trusts, wills, probate and the administration of estates, heritage and rural estates work, high value residential property transactions and leasehold enfranchisement, contentious trusts work, immigration law and family office services.

Real estate: while the first-class real estate team is highly experienced in major infrastructure projects and not-for-profit work, the team's residential practice is a leader in leasehold enfranchisement.

Technology and outsourcing: the firm's technology and outsourcing team acts for both suppliers and users of technology on the full spectrum of transactions ranging from software licensing through to negotiating major systems procurements, systems integration and outsourcing transactions. The firm has particular expertise in open source licensing, cloud computing and on related areas.

  • Number of UK partners: 48
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 132


Established for over 150 years, Pitmans Law achieves outstanding outcomes for clients. For corporates, Pitmans offers a wide range of commercial law services. The firm also delivers a variety of private wealth services for private clients. Pitmans corporate clients range from large, globally-listed companies to entrepreneurs, and its private client base includes corporate executives, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. As a founding member of Interact Law, a global network of specialist legal firms, the firm offers a seamless service worldwide for clients' international needs. Pitmans offers the highest standards of personable client care, quality advice and professionalism at a competitive price from its regional HQ in Reading and additional offices in London and Southampton.

The firm: Services include: banking and finance, commercial, corporate, debt recovery, dispute resolution, employment, insurance, intellectual property, matrimonial and family, pensions, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, wills, tax and trusts.

Sectors: banking, charity and not-for-profit, energy, hospitality, real estate, retail, TMT, and transport.

Types of work undertaken: Banking and finance: handles corporate and bank lending, corporate restructuring, acquisition and corporate finance, property acquisition, development and investment finance, receivables, asset and trade finance, invoice discount and factoring finance, business and personal security, and derivatives.

Corporate: company formations, M&A, takeovers, MBOs, private equity, AIM and Official List, joint ventures, restructurings, share option schemes, financial services and general commercial work.

Debt recovery: chasing of debts; letters of demand; issue and service of court proceedings; enforcement of judgment; and statutory demands.

Dispute resolution: domestic and international commercial disputes; specialises in company and shareholder disputes, banking and finance, construction, employment, insurance, property and trades.

Employment: advises employees and employers on all matters from recruitment to restrictive covenants, termination to dismissals, disputes and claims in the employment tribunal.

IT: licensing of software, outsourcing, SaaS and cloud computing; advises on contentious IT matters, including the supply of goods and services, and contractor disputes.

Insurance: acts for corporates, insurers and claims handlers on complex cases including international disputes, product recalls, injury, fraud and property damage claims.

Intellectual property: specialises in design right, copyright and trade mark disputes, advice relating to protection and exploitation of IP, and the management of trade mark and design right portfolios.

Matrimonial: a fully integrated service including divorce and finance, civil partnerships, children contact disputes, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation and separation agreements, trust of land claims and Inheritance Act claims.

Pensions: one of the largest teams in the South; advises employers and trustees on all aspects of occupational pension schemes; specialises in corporate pensions, dispute resolution and restructuring.

Planning: contentious and non-contentious advice, working with local authorities, successfully negotiating s106 planning obligations, brownfield redevelopment work and planning enforcement.

Real estate: provides integrated acquisition, planning and new homes service for residential developers; also has extensive experience advising banks financing institutions, hoteliers, landowners, local authorities, occupiers, retailers and utilities.

Restructuring and insolvency: advises on all individual and corporate restructuring or refinancing matters using a network of banks, financiers, brokers and insolvency professionals.

Wills, tax and trusts: domicile and residence planning, establishment of UK and overseas trusts, tax planning, wills and probate, trust and estate disputes, and enduring powers of attorney.

  • Number of partners: 40
  • Total staff: 200
  • Breakdown of work %

  • Planning and Real Estate: 30
  • Corporate and commercial: 18
  • Dispute resolution: 19
  • Employment: 3
  • Defendant Insurance: 3
  • Matrimonial: 5
  • Pensions: 8
  • Private tax and family business: 5
  • Restructuring and insolvency : 10

Above material supplied by Pitmans LLP.

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