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TIME CENTRAL, 32 GALLOWGATE, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 4BF, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0191 211 7777
Fax:
Fax 0191 211 7788
DX:
61011 NEWCASTLE U TYNE
Email:
Web:
www.muckle-llp.com

North: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cumbria
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Andrew Davison - Muckle LLP

Anthony Evans - Muckle LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Adam Rayner - Muckle LLP

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Corporate and commercial: Elsewhere in the North
Leading individuals (region-wide)

Andrew Davison - Muckle LLP

Anthony Evans - Muckle LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Adam Rayner - Muckle LLP

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

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP’s β€˜incredibly impressive’ team β€˜ranks highly, thanks to its professionalism, excellent knowledge, pragmatism and commerciality’. The firm has handled an array of corporate finance mandates throughout 2016, in keeping with the firm’s historic strength in the area; the group advised Kitwave Group on its combined Β£41.5m debt financing and related equity investment from Pricoa Capital and Allstate, which the client used to finance two acquisitions and support the growth of its national presence. It also assisted Fairstone Group, the UK’s largest chartered financial planning firm, with a Β£25m investment from Synova Capital (which was among the largest private equity investments in the region in 2016), and handled a Β£15m fundraising for Quantum Pharma, a notable public company transaction that involved tapping into new and existing institutional investors for an accelerated book-build. Practice head and β€˜experienced corporate adviser’ Andrew Davison is noted for his wide-ranging coverage of transactional and regulatory matters. Other key team members include corporate finance specialist Anthony Evans, who β€˜combines in-depth technical knowledge with a practical approach’; the β€˜excellent’ Hugh Welch, who is recommended for M&A work; Philip Clare, who β€˜has an exceptionally strong work ethic’; Mike Spetch, who focuses on private equity transactions; and commercial contract specialist Alan Grisedale. Associate Adam Rayner is also recommended.

Leading individuals (region-wide)

Andrew Davison - Muckle LLP

Anthony Evans - Muckle LLP

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Adam Rayner - Muckle LLP

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North: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Newcastle
Commercial litigation: Newcastle - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP is β€˜genuinely brilliant on all counts’, with clients praising its β€˜excellent service levels, exceptional knowledge and sensibly commercial approach’ as key factors in its ability to provide β€˜advice that is always solid and pragmatic’. Susan Howe, who is β€˜outstanding with a no-nonsense approach’, leads the practice and recently represented the Caribbean Premier League in a high-value contractual claim relating to owed expenses; she is also acting for The Clouston Group in a dispute with a property consultant. George Festing is β€˜one of the best’ for IP and technology litigation; his recent mandates include acting for Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in a claim brought by Gloucester Place Music relating to how US copyright law reversion rights apply to the band’s English music publishing agreements, and defending The Explorer Group in several matters alleging breach of copyright. Celtic Aerospace Ventures, Sahaviriya Steel Industries, Sunderland AFC are noteworthy clients. Senior associate Leah Heatley is singled out for her procurement expertise.

Leading individuals

Susan Howe - Muckle LLP

Next generation lawyers

Leah Heatley - Muckle LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Beverley Oliver leads the department at Muckle LLP, which is β€˜always willing to go the extra mile’ and has a β€˜professionalism that is unmatched’. Oliver attracts praise for her β€˜very efficient, reliable and friendly approach’ that adds to the firm’s β€˜first-class service’. The practice is highly regarded for its experience recovering unpaid invoices; Oliver recently led advice to Wear Referrals in multiple recoveries of unpaid veterinary invoices. Other clients include Anglia Telecoms and Tutti & Co. Paralegal Charlotte Dickinson is β€˜a great ambassador for the firm’ and is β€˜always offering professional and helpful advice, which is reflective of her in-depth industry knowledge’.

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North: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Muckle LLP’s full-service practice rates as β€˜one of the best for service level and commerciality’, and is recognised for its lender-side capabilities; it is on the panels of Atom Bank, HSBC, Svenska Handelsbanken and Santander, among others. In a recent highlight, practice head Louise Duffy (who is β€˜incredibly detail oriented, communicative and professional’) advised Lloyds Bank on a Β£60m revolving credit facility to a housebuilder. On the borrower side, Duffy acted for Newcastle University on the Β£100m property development funding for the redevelopment of its student accommodation and the construction of an urban sciences building. It is also assisting Kitwave Group with a refinancing and fundraising matter. The team is highly regarded for its expertise in financing issues, particularly in the shipping, social housing, education, healthcare and real estate sectors. Other key figures include Stephen McNicol, who has β€˜an excellent reputation in the field’; Kevin Maloney, who β€˜provides invaluable advice’; and senior associate Nicola Nutley, who is experienced in healthcare and registered provider funding mandates.

Leading individuals

Louise Duffy - Muckle LLP

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Muckle LLP’s team (which is β€˜very good on all counts’) is led by Andrew Cawkwell, who β€˜combines excellent legal skills with a relaxed attitude that always gets the right results’. Cawkwell recently advised Northpoint Associates as trustees of Bedes World on compliance with its fiduciary obligations, and led advice on the appointment of joint administrators of Hydrofit Alliance and the subsequent sale of Hydrofit Alliance and its assets to Altec Hydraulics. Cawkwell was also involved in the rescue and restructure of Darlington Football Club. Associate Kelly Jordan recently acted for KC Engineering Bearings on its acquisition of KC Engineering and its assets from administrators, and advised on the appointment of joint administrators of Autoweld Systems and the subsequent sale of the company’s assets. Other clients include Svenska Handelsbanken, Leather Matthews Restructuring, KPMG, Baldwins Restructuring & Insolvency and RSM Restructuring Advisory.

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North: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Muckle LLP’s β€˜brilliant’ department primarily represents employers including owner-managed businesses, educational institutions, sporting clubs and charities. It also acts for senior executives. Particular areas of expertise include executive terminations, confidentiality enforcements, post-termination obligations, TUPE and corporate support matters. Practice head Chris Maddock focuses on TUPE and post-termination restriction enforcements, and is ably assisted by litigator Tony McPhillips and senior associate Jill Donabie, who primarily acts for education-sector clients. Recent highlights include representing an individual in claims against Health Education England and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust relating to constructive dismissal and disability discrimination issues; assisting the Caribbean Premier League with all employment matters surrounding the Twenty20 cricket tournament; and acting for an individual in an Employment Tribunal claim against BP services regarding claims of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Other clients include Newcastle Building Society, Bishop Auckland College and Sunderland Association Football Club.

Leading individuals

Tony McPhillips - Muckle LLP

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North: Private client

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

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

According to some, Muckle LLP is β€˜without a doubt the best in the region for sport-related matters’. It has substantial experience advising community sports charities, national governing bodies and clubs such as the Premier League Charitable Fund and Chelsea FC Foundation. Noteworthy highlights include advising parkrun Group on its running events, including corporate governance and contractual issues, and assisting the Football Association with the launch of the Parklife project – a scheme aimed at providing all-purpose football facilities to communities around the UK. Practice head John Devine, is β€˜a leading authority’; he is β€˜very approachable and good at getting to the heart of the issue’. He recently advised North Music Trust on the extension of its corporate partnership with Sage Group, assisted Breathe North Appeal with its merger with Newcastle University, and acted for The Auckland Castle Trust on efforts to preserve the castle as a visitor attraction. Senior associate Joanne Davison is endorsed for her β€˜detailed approach’ and specialises in establishing social enterprises.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax trusts and probate - ranked: tier 4

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Keith Hately leads the department at Muckle LLP and acts for business owners and high-net-worth individuals on a wide range of issues including wills, family trusts, inheritance tax, business succession, asset protection and probate matters. He is also STEP qualified. Also recommended are corporate partner Hugh Welch and STEP-qualified solicitor Olivia Colbeck, who is experienced in will, probate and trust mandates.

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North: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Muckle LLP β€˜provides a high level of client interaction alongside expansive knowledge that helps to drive forward innovation and growth’. Andrew Davison leads the practice and is noted for his β€˜insightful contributions and proactive solutions’. He is noted for his energy project expertise, and recently advised Studsvik UK on the restructuring of its UK business, which included the establishment of a new company with the aim of separating its nuclear waste management operations from its consultancy operations. Commercial lawyer Alan Grisedale acted for EDMI Europe on arrangement negotiations with Arqiva regarding the provision of communication hubs; Future Energy, the Port of Tyne, Jersey Electricity and Penultimate Power UK are also clients. Also recommended are Robert Langley, for construction mandates; Will McKay, for renewable energy matters; and Keith Bishop, who is noted for his contentious expertise.

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North: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Muckle LLP has β€˜an outstanding reputation in the academy conversion space’ (academy trust clients include Discovery Alliance, Castle View Enterprise Academy, Cramlington Learning Village and St Peter’s Catholic College), and also acts for higher and further education institutions such as Newcastle College, the University of East London and South Tyneside College. In a recent highlight, Anthony Evans led advice to Newcastle University on the development of its Science Central building. Other work included assisting East Durham College with a site refurbishment and the provision of new agricultural facilities; handling the academy conversion of six schools for Smart Academy Trust; and acting for Three Rivers Trust on strategic planning and disciplinary issues. Tony McPhillips is highly regarded in the region and leads the department, which includes commercial partner Alan Grisedale and real estate specialist Lucilla Waugh.

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North: Real estate

Commercial property: Newcastle
Commercial property: Newcastle - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP β€˜excels on all counts’ with clients singling out the practice’s β€˜technical and in-depth knowledge, exceptional response times and very practical approach’. Areas of expertise for the group include real estate acquisitions and disposals, portfolio management, residential developments, real estate finance and joint ventures. Practice head and property development specialist Jonathan Combe is advising Newcastle University on the development and construction of Newcastle Science Central, and is assisting Sunderland Music, Arts & Culture Trust with its acquisition of the former Sunderland Fire Station. Will McKay is acting for McAleer & Rushe Group on the Newgate Centre redevelopment and the β€˜straight-talking’ Gail Bennett (who made partner in 2016) is assisting Swedish building company Trivselhus with UK development plans. Other clients include Atom Bank and Home Group; McKay advised the latter on the sale of a private rented sector portfolio to William Pears Group. Adrian Hill joined Cornerstone Law Limited.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Combe - Muckle LLP

Next generation lawyers

Gail Bennett - Muckle LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

The β€˜incredibly knowledgeable and experienced’ Keith Bishop leads the β€˜fantastic’ three-partner team at Muckle LLP, which β€˜punches well above its weight’ and is noted for its β€˜faultless service’. Other key team members include litigator Robert Langley and non-contentious specialist Lucilla Waugh. Langley recently advised Guernsey Electricity on the tender documents and contract negotiation relating to the procurement of a diesel generator, while Waugh’s recent highlights include advising Newcastle University on the acquisition, design and construction of its urban sciences building, assisting Trivselhus with the construction issues of two residential sites in Milton Keynes and Cambridge, and assisting Stephenson Quarter Developments with the redevelopment and refurbishment of a music and food venue. Port of Tyne and Aura Newcastle are also clients; Waugh is advising the latter on a hotel development in Teesside, a commercial laboratory project, and multiple academy conversions. Senior associate Mark Smith and associate Adam Aston focus on contentious and non-contentious mandates respectively.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

The β€˜impressive, insightful and highly commercial’ team at Muckle LLP is highly regarded for its residential leasehold management expertise. The β€˜responsive and enthusiastic’ Charlotte McMurchie leads the practice and has β€˜an easy-going and friendly manner’. She recently advised key client Grainger on a complex property recovery matter. Other highlights included assisting Bernicia Homes with injunctions relating to anti-social behaviour and defending North Tyneside Council in claims brought by a tenant alleging property disrepair. The group also has substantial expertise in lease renewals, landlord service changes and dilapidation issues. Other clients include Isos Housing, Two Castles Housing Association and North Star Housing Group. Solicitor Julie Adams is another key name.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

Clients of Muckle LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team cite its β€˜exceptional service levels, commercial approach and pragmatism’ as key strengths. Russell Hall, who β€˜brings an unmatched insight to every problem’, leads the β€˜well-known and respected’ practice, which includes the β€˜bright, enthusiastic and helpful’ Charlotte McMurchie; large-scale social housing development expert Will McKay; and banking partner Louise Duffy. Clients include Four Housing Group and Home Group; McKay recently advised the latter on its national asset management and stock rationalisation project. The team also recently assisted Amethyst Homes with a multi-phase development in Consett and is handling new lease arrangement negotiations for YMCA North Tyneside.

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North: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

For some, Muckle LLP’s β€˜highly professional yet personal’ team is β€˜head and shoulders above the rest in terms of knowledge’, and clients view it as β€˜a safe pair of hands’ for IT matters. Key figures include non-contentious specialist Alex Craig, litigator George Festing, and the β€˜incredibly efficient’ Alan Grisedale. The team was joined in 2016 by associate Jill Dovey, who arrived from an in-house position and is noted for her data protection expertise. Highlights for Grisedale included advising England Athletics on the terms and conditions, privacy policy and website terms of use for the launch of its RunTogether brand, while Craig assisted Glowsoft’s shareholders with the IT aspects of its acquisition by Mandata. Atom Bank, EDMI Europe and Avid Technology Group are also clients.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

The β€˜excellent, knowledgeable and proactive’ department at Muckle LLP attracts praise for its β€˜good and positive attitude, great enthusiasm and commercial experience’. Practice head Alex Craig, who β€˜is easy to talk to and takes a no-nonsense approach’, and George Festing specialise in non-contentious and contentious IP respectively. Festing also has noteworthy expertise in the media sector and is defending Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in a claim relating to how US copyright law reversion rights apply to English music publishing agreements. In other highlights, Festing acted for The Explorer Group in multiple breach of copyright claims and Craig advised the shareholders of Glowsoft on the IP elements of its acquisition by Mandata. John Devine is recommended for sports-related matters.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Muckle LLP (Newcastle)

β€˜A clear leader in the field’, Muckle LLP attracts praise for its β€˜highly professional, efficient and effective service’ and β€˜knowledge that is second-to-none’. The β€˜incredibly experienced’ John Devine leads the group, which advises national governing bodies, clubs, managers and professional players across a wide range of sports including football, rugby and cricket. The team recently advised longstanding client The Football Association on the conception and launch of its Parklife project – a scheme aimed at providing all-purpose football facilities to communities around the UK. Other highlights included assisting the Caribbean Premier League on all legal issues relating to the international cricket competition and advising the Sport England Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme on its athlete funding and institution funding agreements. England Athletics, Chelsea FC Foundation and Durham County Cricket Club are also clients. Also recommended are the β€˜excellent’ Tony McPhillips, who is recommended for professional player and manager contracts; associate solicitor Jess Swindells, who advises on sports grants and other banking issues; and senior associate John Kellett, who is a key name for real estate issues.

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