The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Pitmans LLP

47 CASTLE STREET, READING, BERKSHIRE, RG1 7SR, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work +44 345 222 9222
Fax:
Fax +44 118 958 5097
Email:
Web:
www.pitmans.com

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Hampshire
Corporate and commercial: Hampshire - ranked: tier 4

Pitmans LLP (Southampton)

Pitmans LLPprovides a more personal service than larger firms’ according to clients. Its expertise extends to private equity transactions, joint ventures and management buyouts, acting on behalf of lenders, individuals and businesses. In an M&A highlight, the firm advised Premier Marinas on its acquisition of Noss Marina and assisted Specialist Tours with multiple acquisitions in 2016 including Brightwater Holidays Action Events and Dream Challenges. The team also assisted the shareholders of Technology Networks on the company’s sale to LabX Media Group. Also on the client roster are Wren Sterling, HCR Group and World of Books. Key figures include Sean Kelly, who ‘makes a strong personal commitment to his clients’ and who focuses on M&A work and private equity transactions, and Oliver Kelly, who is an expert in corporate reorganisations.

[back to top]

Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Corporate and commercial: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 3

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

At Pitmans LLP, IPO and AIM listing expert Oliver Pilkington, who splits his time between London and Reading, made partner and advised finnCap on its role as AIM broker to Eco City Vehicles (now trading as Tax Systems) relating to the £73m reverse takeover of Tax Computer Systems and its £45m placing of shares. Philip Weaver, together with Gatienne Brault & Associés, advised Westcoast France on acquiring the electronic office supply division of ADVEO France and handled the supply and sale agreements between ADVEO and Westcoast in Germany, Italy and Spain. In other work, managing partner John Hutchinson assisted Ridgeway Garages (Newbury) with its £107m sale to Marshall Motor Group. Roger Gregory divides his time between Reading and London and is renowned for US and European mandates, concentrating on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions. Recent personnel changes saw former head Andrew Peddie depart to Gateley Plc and Southampton-based department head Sean Kelly take over as leader of the team in Thames Valley.

Next generation lawyers: partners

Oliver Pilkington - Pitmans LLP

[back to top]

South East: Crime, fraud and licensing

Licensing
Licensing - ranked: tier 2

Pitmans LLP (Southampton)

Pitmans LLP’s licensing team operates within the firm’s wider commercial practice and services national and London clients for all licensing mandates, including premises licence applications, changes and renewals for sporting grounds, gaming centres and bookmakers, representing clients in local authority committee hearings and taxi licensing issues. The firm advised Scoozi Bar & Grill on multiple premises licensing applications for outside table areas, including representing the client in a contested hearing before the local licensing committee. It also assisted Metropolitan Restaurants with its planning applications for new premises and with a table and chairs licence application in Westminster. Delicious Dining, Concorde Club and Hotel, Ideal Collection and the Natural Environment Research Council are also on the client roster. The well-regarded Jonathan Gray leads the practice, with experience in advocacy for licensing clients and taxi licensing requirements.

[back to top]

South East: Dispute resolution

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

Pitmans LLP (Southampton)

Pitmans LLPadopts an innovative approach to resolving disputes’; ‘it has the skills and experience of a City firm’, according to clients. Damages claims, insurance matters and professional negligence cases are all mainstays of the practice, which acted for SAGA in a damages claim after a sinkhole was opened up in the claimant’s driveway following water escaping. It also represented the same client in a policy term and fraud dispute against a policyholder where the latter made an insurance claim for a fire that never occurred. Other clients include Cranbourne Holdings, Mears Group, Freightliner and Red Funnel Group. Practice leader Rick Munro attracts praise for his ‘pragmatic approach to resolving disputes’; he is assisted by product liability and insurance disputes expert Alan Davies and senior associate Claire Collings who ‘is meticulous in her approach to trial preparation’.

[back to top]

Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

The team at Pitmans LLPcoordinates and delivers advice under significant timescale pressures’. Through the efforts of the ‘stellar’ and ‘technically spot-onPhil Smith, UTelcom UK’s breach of contract case against Gamma Business Communications was dismissed. Department head and IT sector expert Tim Clarkfights his client’s corner’ and, together with Smith, represented Xma in a dispute with InTechnology, which claimed that it had a sub-contract with the Xma, despite Xma’s termination of the main agreement. William Richmond-Coggan has higher rights of audience and acted for One Step (Support) in bringing a non-competition and non-solicitation clauses claim against two individuals, which will be appealed in the Supreme Court in late 2017. Other clients include Sky, Westcoast and HUMAX Electronics. Deputy managing partner and insolvency expert Suzanne Brooker is also noted, as is respected mediator Sue O'Brien, who became a consultant and stepped down as head of the team.

Leading individuals

Tim Clark - Pitmans LLP

Next generation lawyers

Phil Smith - Pitmans LLP

William Richmond-Coggan - Pitmans LLP

[back to top]

Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP is praised for its ‘great business and industry knowledge’. The practice is known for its work in commercial and residential debt recovery, including service charges arrears and liability order impositions, for national and international clients in the retail, health, property and construction sectors; it also acts for lenders as well as debtors. Donna Goddard ‘runs an excellent team of committed advisers’ that includes Suzanne Brooker, who is ‘very professional and understanding’, Rick Munro and William Richmond-Coggan.

[back to top]

South East: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLPworks hard to maintain good client relationships; all queries are responded to with the appropriate level of detail’. The practice continues to sit on the panels of several major banks including HSBC Commercial, Lloyds TSB, Metro Bank and Santander, and receives regular instructions from its solid lender client base. The firm also acts for a variety of corporate borrowers, undertaking a range of national and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Key clients include Allied Irish Bank, Santander and Totaltec Oilfield Services. Stephanie Perry (who is praised for providing ‘sound, easy-to-digest advice’) recently advised Totaltec Oilfield Services on an initial equity financing from a number of private investors, a high-value highlight spanning multiple jurisdictions including Guyana, Denmark, Norway and Singapore. Jim Meechan is the other key figure, handling a mix of personal, private and corporate banking matters.

Next generation lawyers

Laurel Knight - Pitmans LLP

[back to top]

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

Pitmans LLP (Reading, Southampton)

The insolvency practice at Pitmans LLP in Reading provides an ‘excellent service, a knowledgeable team and a great range of experience’, taking on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Supported by director Stacey Jones as well as solicitor David Williams (who specialises in matters related to property such as tenant and landlord insolvency), the ‘extremely competent and vastly experienced’ head of department Suzanne Brooker advises on corporate, partnership and personal insolvencies as well as restructuring, asset tracing and insolvency-related transactions. UHY Hacker Young, KPMG, Grant Thornton UK and CVR Global are among the firm’s active clients. Nicola Kirk left for Gateley Plc in spring 2016.

Next generation lawyers

David Williams - Pitmans LLP

[back to top]

South East: Human resources

Employment: Hampshire
Employment: Hampshire - ranked: tier 3

Pitmans LLP (Southampton)

Pitmans LLP handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment work, including discrimination cases, restrictive covenant issues and internal restructuring mandates. Highlights included assisting the founder and shareholders of World of Books on new service agreements and settlement agreements, and advising Westfield Medical on multiple employee service agreements and pension scheme issues. Ideal Leisure, the Wilton Carpet Factory and The Concorde Club and Hotel are also clients. The highly regarded Jonathan Gray leads the team, which includes senior associate Claire Anderson; they are adept at handling TUPE transfers, HR support matters and employment tribunal litigation.

[back to top]

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

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

At Pitmans LLP, department head Mark Symons successfully represented an expatriate employee before the EAT in a case regarding unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims filed against the British Council (BC); the matter set a precedent for expatriate employees by allowing claims against BC to be heard by employment tribunals, something that has been challenged by the respondent. Other key figures include Angela Shields and senior associate Jenny Littlewood. Entrepreneurs, starts-ups and large employers such as Westcoast, Panalux and Advanced also feature on the client roster.

[back to top]

Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 2

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

At Pitmans LLP, key specialisms include obtaining visas for travel in the Schengen Area, sponsor license applications under Tier 2 and Tier 5, compliance and preparation for Home Office audits, and applications for indefinite leave to remain for business migrants wishing to settle permanently in the UK. Jonathan Gray heads the department following the departure of Richard Devall to IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett). Gray advises major corporates and SMEs on immigration strategies, complying with sponsorship duties, right to work checks and applications under Tier 2 of the points-based system, and has notable expertise acting for technology, oil and gas and entertainment sector clients. The firm also advises on EU immigration issues in the hospitality sector arising from Brexit.

[back to top]

Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP has notable strength in drafting master trusts for group life and defined contribution schemes, an area that senior associate Symon Rowley is experienced in along with benefit restructurings and pension scheme documentation covering Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPPs) and Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs); he assisted Liberty SIPP with establishing new rules following legislative changes to pension flexibility. Highlights for David Hosford included assisting Wilsons Feeds Pension Scheme with obtaining Pension Protection Fund compensation by splitting the scheme into two sections and arranging for employers to participate in these. He also advised an independent trustee of Avalon Leisure Pension Scheme on debts, winding up the scheme and a benefits buyout for members.

[back to top]

South East: Insurance

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

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP’s personal injury practice focuses on motor, employers’ and public liability and industrial disease claims. The Reading-based Ferhat Choudri heads the team.

[back to top]

South East: Private client

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

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP’s practice is led by the ‘particularly knowledgeable and very experienced’ David Ainslie, who is singled out for inheritance tax, succession planning and other private client matters. High-net-worth individuals, family trusts, non-domiciles and high-profile clients instructed the practice in matters relating to substantial business assets, probate, pension policy trusts, wills and estates that have not been administered. Sheilagh Magee was promoted to partner and is also recommended for providing a ‘fantastic’ service.

[back to top]

South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Hampshire
Commercial property: Hampshire - ranked: tier 3

Pitmans LLP (Southampton, Portsmouth)

Pitmans LLPprovides commercial, pragmatic and effective advice delivered without fuss’. It undertakes the full spectrum of commercial property matters, including specialist knowledge in marine-related commercial property issues, portfolio management and land acquisition mandates. The firm advised Premier Marinas on its £15m acquisition of a site on the River Dart in Devon, including negotiations with the Duchy of Cornwall, and is continuing to assist Red Funnel Ferries with the £20m purchase and redevelopment of a site in East Cowes from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Other highlights included advising Elatum on two acquisitions in the Southampton region: the £1.6m acquisition of Linden House and £4.2m proposed purchase of Norwich Union House. Other clients include Historic Hotels of Sussex, Mildren Homes and The Wilton Carpet Factory. Nick Toddis very responsive, technically good and very thorough’, and John Newton’s ‘attention to detail is excellent’.

[back to top]

Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
Commercial property: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 - ranked: tier 1

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

For some, Pitmans LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice is ‘by far the best’ in residential development and corporate and finance-related matters. Recent highlights for residential conveyancing practice head Delphine Mehouas included advising Bewley Homes on acquiring land for the construction of 400 residential units and handling the real estate aspects of Ridgeway Garages (Newbury)’s sale to Marshall Motor Group, which saw her handle property portfolio due diligence in addition to environmental and construction matters. Java Asset Management, Ashill and Vanderbilt Homes also feature on the client roster. Paul Murray’s ‘detailed knowledge of all property issues’ is ‘second to none’ and he is recommended with Marcus McCluggage and Sarah Potter, who were promoted to partner. Andrew Davies is no longer with the firm.

[back to top]

Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP is noted for its expertise in marine engineering matters, and also advises clients in the hotels, design and leisure sectors on the full range of construction matters including site acquisition, planning, procurement and disputes. The group recently advised Merlion Housing Association on its £4.5m purchase of a floor on the landmark development in Ashford, The Panorama. It is also representing Soveper LDA in a dispute concerning the mobilisation of a dredger across the Atlantic, along with the removal of gravel and rock material. David Gwillim is the leading figure and has a strong breadth of experience in the construction and engineering sectors both domestically and abroad. Other key clients include Oxford Homes, Ridgeway Group and Frazer-Nash Research.

[back to top]

Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP’ ‘outstanding’ practice provides ‘rock-solid advice’, and ‘is able to report complex planning issues in terms that can be easily relayed to non-professionals, a strength which is partly down to the high level of partner engagement’. Key areas of focus include section 106 agreements and affordable housing; community infrastructure levy (CIL) matters; real estate work; and issues involving assets of community value. The ‘extremely efficientChristina Daniels heads the practice and is ‘a great strategic thinker – highly detailed and efficient and able to act quickly, always keeping the client on the front foot when negotiating’. Daniels is acting for Cala Homes and Highwood Group in negotiations for a section 106 agreement for a 700-unit development. Other key clients include Redrow Homes, Ashill Land and Thames Water Utilities.

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

Pitmans LLP fields a team of ‘highly competent’ lawyers that has ‘a great awareness of the client’s business’, advising on landlord and tenant litigation, insolvency, development and construction-related disputes. The team recently acted for a group of private individuals in a nuisance and negligence claim brought by multiple claimants, and advised Thames Water on a successful claim for possession of a large area of land near the William Girling reservoir in London. David Williams heads the practice where Phil Smith is the other key figure.

[back to top]

South East: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Pitmans LLP (Reading)

At Pitmans LLP, corporate and commercial partner Philip Weaver heads non-contentious IT and telecoms work, and recently advised 360Globalnet on an investment made by Computer Sciences Corporation (now known as DXC Technology). The advisory side of the practice was bolstered when legal adviser Marie Evrard joined from CTIL, bringing expertise in data protection compliance, software and master services agreements, among other matters. Department head Tim Clark and Phil Smith are the primary contacts for contentious matters and, together, they represented Xma in High Court proceedings relating to a claim brought by InTechnology, which alleged that it had a sub-contract with the defendant for the providing a managed backup service, despite Xma’s termination of the main agreement. Noble Systems UK, Sky and HUMAX Electronics are other clients.

[back to top]


Legal Developments in the UK

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