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Shoosmiths LLP

2 COLMORE SQUARE, 38 COLMORE CIRCUS QUEENSWAY, BIRMINGHAM, B4 6BJ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 03700 863000
Fax:
Fax 08700 864001
DX:
701863 BIRMINGHAM-6
Email:
Web:
www.shoosmiths.co.uk

West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP

Response times, business acumen and industry knowledge are very good’ at Shoosmiths LLP, where the practice continued to feature strongly in real estate and private equity deals. Ben Turner, who now heads the corporate practice following Martin Letza’s departure for an in-house role, advised the shareholders of GBR Phoenix Beard Holdings on the sale of their shares to Savills; and Alastair Peet, who leads the national venture capital team, acted for Octopus Ventures, Accel and Index on the disposal of TouchType to Microsoft. In another private equity deal, Peet assisted the Business Growth Fund with two significant investments into Sertec Corporation. David Jackson has charge of the three-partner commercial offering and is advising Telefonica O2 on its role in providing wi-fi communications services to a major public sector entity. In addition to telecoms, Jackson is well versed in technology outsourcing arrangements, and also acts for leisure and tourism operators such as TUI Group and Monarch Airlines. Technology specialist Craig Armstrong is another key player in the commercial team.

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 4

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

At Shoosmiths LLP, Kate Featherstone advises on all aspects of corporate and business tax and has significant experience in private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and reorganisations. In one example of work, she provided tax advice to the shareholders of GBR Phoenix Beard Holdings in the sale of their shares to Savills. Other clients of the practice are Mercedes-Benz, GAME and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation
Banking litigation - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP’s practice is ‘good at answering difficult questions and is generally extremely reliable in what can be testing and fraught situations’. The team sits within the firm’s recoveries services group, which acts for a wide range of clearing banks, other retail banks, building societies, credit card issuers and motor finance houses. Names to note include head of asset finance litigation Melanie Chell, who divides her time between Birmingham and Northampton; Roger Potgieter, whose work straddles advice to lenders on the recovery of financed assets and bringing claims against lenders under the Consumer Credit Act; and senior associate Martin Ward, who focuses on asset and motor finance. In 2016, the team acted for Close Brothers Motor Finance on a number of matters, including the recovery of £300,000 following the termination of a wholesale funding facility with a motor dealer; and in another example of work, it defended Lombard North Central Bank in a credit finance dispute over whether a coach was of satisfactory quality, following the supplier’s liquidation.

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Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP

National head of practice Alex Bishop has ‘assembled an excellent team of litigators’ at Shoosmiths LLP, where the practice continued to be busy in its key sectors of retail, automotive and IT. Bishop, who provides ‘top-quality strategic advice and truly outstanding client care’, is acting for Architectural Wallsz (International) in relation to its claim against multiple defendants arising from the establishment of a competitor venture; and she is also advising a business purchaser on a potential breach of tax covenant and warranty claim. In other highlights, Birmingham head of practice Mark Elder is acting for TCCT Retail in a claim for tracing following mistaken payment to an incorrect bank account, and Helen Pickford, who is ‘on top of every document in the case’, is representing WiseTech in its defence of a claim for fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation arising from the sale of its software. Elder has extensive experience in seeking urgent injunctive relief and also has a specialism in public procurement litigation.

Leading individuals

Alex Bishop - Shoosmiths LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP’s team ‘really believes in providing advice rather than just marking up documents and always makes itself available at short notice’. The practice focuses on advising motor finance lenders, leasing companies and banks on the recovery of financed assets. In recent work examples, Roger Potgieter represented Close Brother Motor Finance in various matters, including recovering money under a vehicle stocking agreement, and also recovery following the termination of a wholesale funding facility with a motor dealer. Head of asset finance litigation Melanie Chell divides her time between Birmingham and Northampton and acts for clients such as ABN Amro Lease and Tesco Bank.

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West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

At Shoosmiths LLP, areas of strength include real estate finance transactions, asset-based lending deals, corporate lending in the mid-market, leveraged and private equity-backed deals and complex pensions funding. David Adams heads the practice and handles a good mix of lender and borrower mandates; recent examples of his work include advising August Equity and Berkeley Home Health on working capital and acquisition finance facilities from HSBC for the acquisition of a number of healthcare targets, and acting for Kier Living in connection with its debt investment into a joint venture with Spectrum Property Ventures to develop a residential mixed portfolio of housing. National head of real estate finance James Needham represents both major commercial lenders in property-based funding transactions, and also borrowers seeking funding, whether by secured debt or interim development finance.

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

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘very knowledgeable team’ acts for a wide variety of clients on the full spectrum of insolvency matters, from business sales to litigation. One particular area of strength is the retail sector, where team continued to be highly active: it advised Grabal Alok (UK) in relation to a company voluntary arrangement, and acted for AlixPartners, as administrators of Be-Wise. National head of practice James Keates is ‘flexible and creative’ and regularly assists private equity investors in connection with their recovery strategies for distressed investments. Below partner level, recommended lawyers include senior associates Aaron Harlow and Charles Williams, who both assisted Keates with mandates for FRP Advisory, including advising on the administrations of Redhill Analysts and R Capital, and Vent Vision.

Leading individuals

James Keates - Shoosmiths LLP

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 3

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

At Shoosmiths LLPcharismatic’ practice head Charles Rae continues to build upon his team’s successful track record in Employment Tribunal claims; clients ‘cannot fault its service in any way’, and rate the team for providing ‘an incredibly supportive, informative and quality service’. Adele Hayfield, who was promoted to partner in May 2016, advised one of the UK’s largest logistics businesses on the threat of strike action within one of their divisions in response to the client’s proposed changes to sick pay agreements. In another key mandate, Nick Vernon supported Rae in work for a local property consultancy client who required advice on the employment aspects of the sale of its shares to Savills, which involved the negotiation of the senior management’s service agreements. On the contentious side, associate Antonia Blackwell is representing a major accountancy firm in the defence of a multi-claimant case brought against a large UK business following the closure of numerous of its sites due to insolvency, while associate Michael Hardiman (who attracts praise for providing advice that is ‘always grounded in commercial reality’) acted for a service provider in the landscaping sector in relation to a whistleblowing claim brought by a former employee dismissed for underperformance; the case was eventually settled.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLPprovides a service that often seems to be designed specifically to meet clients’ needs in a pragmatic way, considering the risks and never losing sight of the commercial realities’. The firm recently recruited the ‘intelligent and pragmaticRoy Tozer and Charles Arrand from DLA Piper UK LLP; Arrand recently represented a major car manufacturer in a serious injury case. Newly promoted partner Hayley Saunders and associate Hannah Price defended an individual in a police investigation into to the accidental death of a pedestrian. Tozer acted for clients in the natural resources sector in connection with the accidental release of butane gas at an oil refinery, and several procedural mistakes which led to potentially catastrophic incidents. The team’s other key matters included assisting a public-sector client with an investigation into the sinking of a tug boat following a collision with a buoy.

Leading individuals

Hayley Saunders - Shoosmiths LLP

Roy Tozer - Shoosmiths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Hannah Price - Shoosmiths LLP

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West Midlands: Insurance

Clinical negligence: claimant
Clinical negligence: claimant - ranked: tier 1

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

The leading specialist clinical negligence firm in the country’ according some clients, Shoosmiths LLP’s team provides ‘a first-class service’. Phil Barnes leads the team, which includes Nick Tubb, who has particular expertise in cases involving surgical errors, spinal injuries, and brain injury; and Kashmir Uppal, who represented a young mother suffering from serious permanent neurological impairment due to a substandard surgical intervention. In another key mandate, Richard Follis acted for a woman whose husband died during cardiac surgery performed by a doctor who had lost 15 patients in the period of a year. Senior associate Richard Bannister handled a case involving cerebral palsy, while associate Sarah Corser advised on a multiple amputation case following improper diagnosing of meningitis. Also recommended are senior associate Victoria Blackstone, who is ‘a complete pleasure to work with’ and ‘will always go the extra mile’, and ‘well-trained, knowledgeable and diligent’ senior associate Michael Burrell.

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Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 4

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP’s Sara Huntmaintains a high standard of efficiency and helpfulness’ and heads the Birmingham practice. Hunt focuses on asbestos-related disease claims and has substantial experience in fast-track court procedures. Kate Price – who joined the firm from Attwood Solicitors – is assisting Hunt with a claim concerning a fractured leg sustained at a leisure centre. Garret Spring, who recently joined the team from NewLaw Solicitors where he was head of occupational disease, is acting for claimants in relation to workplace accidents, including a fatal mesothelioma claim.

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West Midlands: Private client

Family: Birmingham
Family: Birmingham - ranked: tier 3

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP’s Neil Hobden is praised for his ‘exceptional knowledge, proactive nature and exceptional service’. He heads the firm’s national family practice from Birmingham, which has particular expertise handling financial matters regarding the breakdown of relationships, often involving a cross-border element. Associate and qualified mediator Sushma Kotecha heads the firm’s national mediation team from the Nottingham office and has a notable focus on servicing Asian clients. Other recent cases involve international child relocation and wealth protection work. Associates Adam Maguire and Sylvie Sarabia are also recommended.

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

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

At Shoosmiths LLPCatherine Elliott, who joined from Clarke Willmott LLP heads the practice in Birmingham and is assisted by associate Sarah Cairns. The practice handles the full range of private client matters, including cross-border estate management, care work, and the rectification of invalid deeds of appointment and retirement for various family trusts.

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West Midlands: Public sector

Education
Education - ranked: tier 3

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP is ‘excellent for complex educational needs cases’ and provides a ‘prompt, professional service with good knowledge of law pertaining to home education and special educational needs’. Richard Follis leads the team, which attracts praise for its ‘ability to challenge assertively but politely’ and which includes senior associate Gurvinder Kaur, who is ‘excellent with clients in difficult circumstances’; Kaur has strong experience in representing children with acquired brain injuries and cerebral palsy. The team also acted for a child whose school place had been revoked by her local authority on the basis that the family was deemed to have obtained the place fraudulently.

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West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLPprovides an exemplary, first-class service and sound commercial advice’ to clients such as John Lewis Pension Fund and Kwik Fit, and the team continued to be busy in its key sectors of retail, automobile and education. Managing partner Jason Jackson, who is a ‘shrewd operator’, was highly active in the industrial property space, where examples of his work included acting for IM Properties on the £50m sale of the group’s warehouse portfolio; assisting with a joint venture between Bridges Sustainable Property Fund and Opus Land relating to the purchase and development of 283,000 sq ft of grade A industrial space at Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock; and representing new client Atlantic Leaf Properties in the £100m purchase of a portfolio of eight investment properties. Other names to note include James Needham, who focuses on commercial developments and acted for Stoford Developments on the purchase, development and construction of 80,000 sq ft of office and logistics space; finance specialist Andrew Tubbs; as well as head of housing Bhavesh Amlani and Gavin Le Chat, who lead on residential development work.

Leading individuals

Jason Jackson - Shoosmiths LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP’s team ‘handles sizeable litigation for a number of large and well-respected contractors, developers and institutions both domestically and, increasingly, internationally’. Key players include Simon Wain, who has ‘great tactical nous and good experience of project finance, bonds and construction insurance issues’, Stephen Belshaw, who is a ‘good choice for high-level litigation and adjudication work and also an expert in construction in the education sector’, and senior associate Paul Scott, who is ‘very good under the pressure of adjudication’. On the non-contentious side, practice head Patrick Garner continued to handle various real estate mandates, including advising McKay Securities on the design and construction of a 12-storey office building in the City of London, and acting for St Modwen Properties on the construction aspects of the development agreement and the construction documents for the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Longbridge. The practice was enhanced by a number of hires, including Ian Yule’s team from Weightmans LLP; Yule focuses on dispute resolution arising from civil engineering work.

Next generation lawyers

Paul Scott - Shoosmiths LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP developed its offering with the hire of regulatory specialist

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP is ‘very good at getting key legal documents completed within tight timescales’, and the team continued to handle a good mix of public and private sector work: recent examples include representing Tendring District Council on a series of planning appeals before the Secretary of State relating to the St Osyth Priory Site in Essex, and advising IM Properties on its s78 appeal to secure around 750 houses on a site in Lichfield. While the practice is particularly noted for its planning litigation work (both in terms of judicial review, statutory challenges and planning enforcement matters), it also handles a volume of non-contentious mandates and is providing strategic planning advice to Maximus Strategic Stafford in relation to bringing forward an urban extension on the outskirts of Stafford. The practice is led by Tim Willis, who ‘combines a supreme legal brain with a razor sharp wit’ and includes senior associate Anna Cartledge, who regularly advises on compulsory purchase orders and in relation to HS2.

Next generation lawyers

Anna Cartledge - Shoosmiths LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP is probably best known for its strength in the retail sector, where clients include Boots, Thomas Cook and Poundland. The team is led by national head of property litigation Nicholas Shepherd, who is a ‘good leader and delegator’. Shepherd specialises in handling dilapidations claims, disputed rent reviews and Land Registry rectification claims and the adjudication of other land registration issues, and in one recent matter has been advising Tingdene Parks on an application for adverse possession and/or rectification against the council in respect of a strip of land between Tingdene’s caravan park and the foreshore. Paul Knight leads the Birmingham team and, together with Kate McCall, who is noted for her expertise in the property insolvency arena, is acting for BDO (in its capacity as administrators and LPA receivers) in its pursuit of various injunctions against the former directors of an insolvent company to obtain possession of eight high-end properties in Kensington, Mayfair and Chelsea. In another example of work, Knight helped Central Midlands Estates and Central England Co-operative secure possession of two major redevelopment sites for their food business.

Leading individuals

Paul Knight - Shoosmiths LLP

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 4

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

At Shoosmiths LLP, senior associate David Perry specialises in development and real estate finance and is advising Derwent Housing Association on all aspects of a major photovoltaic lease project for a 1,500-roof portfolio. Perry is also acting for Longhurst Group on several governance queries concerning a stock charging exercise. In the housing management space, associate Bukola Aremu handles a range of issues, including anti-social behaviour, eviction and possession proceedings, tenancy and succession issues; Aremu is assisting practice head Bhavesh Amlani with advice to Severn Vale Housing Society on preserved right-to-buy and right-to-acquire work. Amlani focuses on development and investment work for registered providers. The team secured a number of new clients in 2016, including CHIC and Regenda Group.

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West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Shoosmiths LLP (Birmingham)

Shoosmiths LLP’s IT and telecoms practice in Birmingham is led by David Jackson, whose expertise covers complex outsourcing arrangements, with particular emphasis on the telecoms and leisure and tourism sectors. Other key figures include Craig Armstrong, who specialises in technology-centred outsourcing and procurements and is particularly active in the retail and financial services sectors; and Andrew Brennan, whose clients range from entrepreneurial businesses to large-scale corporations. Recent work includes advising a global software provider on options available for software financing and liability in the ICT sector, and assisting O2 with the rollout of wi-fi communication services as part of a tri-partite consortium delivering unified services to a public-sector body. Jackson led a team including senior associate Joe Stephenson advising Wifinity on the negotiation of its contract with Bourne Leisure Holdings, while Nichola Jenkins acted alongside Armstrong on a system integration matter on behalf of BAT. Senior associate Simon McArdle was part of the team assisting a major telecoms provider with its IT and core network transformation. Other clients include Volkswagen, Weetabix and PSA Group.

Leading individuals

David Jackson - Shoosmiths LLP

Next generation lawyers

Joe Stephenson - Shoosmiths LLP

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Further information on Shoosmiths LLP

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

East Midlands

Offices in Northampton and Nottingham

London

Offices in London

North West

Offices in Manchester

Scotland

Offices in Edinburgh

South East

Offices in Reading, Basingstoke, Southampton, and Milton Keynes

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

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