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Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Work 01483 252525
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Cheltenham, Doha, Dubai, Geneva, Guildford, Hong Kong and 5 more

South East: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Corporate and commercial: Kent, Surrey, Sussex - ranked: tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP attracts clients from a broad range of industries and has an impressive roster of healthcare, pharmacy and veterinary clients, as well as private equity houses. It provides a full service in addition to its corporate expertise, working in tandem with its London colleagues. Geoffrey Sparks leads the team; Tim Jenkins is especially noted for his healthcare focus and Catherine Drew's broad corporate expertise includes the healthcare sector. Associate Jonathan Steele is noted for his client handling abilities and practical advice and Rebecca Burford is highly rated.

Practice head(s):Geoffrey Sparks

Other key lawyers:Tim Jenkins; Catherine Drew; Rebecca Burford; Jonathan Steele


'Very accessible, responsive, measured and adept at explaining complex legal issues in straightforward terms, providing an excellent service to their clients. A London-quality practice in Guildford.'

'They are technically very competent and they have particular expertise in pharmacy matters. They offer a genuine alternative to the London marketplace.'

'Jonathan Steele is especially good with clients and a joy to work with. He is very hardworking, easily accessible at all times, and delivers high-quality, practical advice.'

'Tim Jenkins has an ingrained culture of practicality, whilst giving very sound legal advice.'

'Tim Jenkins has unique experience on pharmacy matters and is able to cut through the regulation to find pragmatic solutions.'

Key Clients

discoverIE Group plc

Unique Secure


London Irish Holdings

Goizper S.Coop

Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Sellers of Xstrahl Limited and Phoenix Objectives

Goddard Veterinary Group

Juno Health

Trusted Housesitters

Work highlights

  • Advised on the £18m sale of the entire issued share capital of the Xstrahl group of companies to private equity firm Risk Capital.
  • Assisted on the purchase of eight pharmacy businesses across two parallel corporate transactions (the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Davison Chemists and Dhesi Healthcare).
  • Advising on an acquisition of the Santon Group via holding company EWAC Holdings BV. The deal value is an initial £23.7m with a  further £19.9m contingent.
  • Acted for this Spanish Co-operative on its acquisition of the Micron Group, a transaction worth £12.5m.
  • Acted for the sellers of the leading multi-site veterinary practice Rainbow Equine Hospital to VetPartners Limited.
Next Generation Partners

Rebecca Burford - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex
Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's Guildford team is hailed for being able to compete with City practices whilst maintaining a personal service and sensible costs. Whether advising large corporates or smaller businesses, Stephen Burns is especially highlighted for these qualities and Jamie Cartwright  is noted for his expertise in the TMT and automotive sectors. The team is home to a number of high-performing associates including  Charlotte Healy, Katy Ackroyd and Katie Bewick.

Practice head(s):Stephen Burns; Jamie Cartwright

Other key lawyers:Tom Plowman; Charlotte Healy; Katy Ackroyd; Katie Bewick


'The Guildford office has high-quality work and delivers a hard-hitting litigation service where needed.  Despite this the CRS is commercially minded and focused on the cost to the end client.  The team works seamlessly together, is very responsive and communicates well.'

'They have the ability to adapt and access a wide range of knowledge across a number of different people within the firm but still managing to balance this with a close relationship with one or two key members of the firm so that we know we always have someone to go to who supports us and knows our business.'

'CRS are comfortably able to take on the City firms in large and medium litigation matters. They give sensible and cost-effective advice.'

'Stephen Burns is responsive and hands-on as a partner. Katie Bewick is a very impressive junior associate.'

'Stephen Burns and Charlotte Healy have been exceptional in dealing with us. We are a small business, so cost is an issue for us and they have both managed to balance that incredibly well whilst providing sound legal advice. They have provided the right level of comfort that we are legally supported and their knowledge and understanding of the case is really good.'

'Steve Burns is to the point and articulate.  He gets to the heart of legal issues and puts unnecessary detail to one side.'

'Katy Ackroyd works incredibly hard and is very on the ball.'

Key Clients

Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Alfa Romeo


BCA/We Buy Any Car

Teletrac Navman

Swiss Post

Day Lewis plc

eToro Group


Walkers Chocolates


Work highlights

  • Advises Fiat Chrysler Group UK on a range of contentious matters, involving customers, dealerships or suppliers and including IP and employment issues.
  • Assists an array of healthcare sector clients regarding disputes including in the pharmacy, dental and GP sectors.
  • Acted for Michael Meakin in a long running case in which the High Court  handed down judgment in Loose v Lynn Shellfish (after the case was referred back to it from the Supreme Court).
  • Acting for a minority shareholder in a lengthy and complex family shareholder case in the High Court, involving a well-known cosmetics manufacturing company.
Leading individuals

Stephen Burns - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next Generation Partners

Jamie Cartwright - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The debt recovery practice of Charles Russell Speechlys LLP sits within the commercial litigation department and focuses on disputed and international debt claims on behalf of clients in the automotive, media, financial services and property sectors, where the team handles contentious matters related to licensing, unpaid fees, finance default and service charge arrears claims. Litigation partner Jamie Cartwright is the lead adviser.

Practice head(s):Jamie Cartwright

Key Clients

Fiat, Chrysler and Jeep

Walkers Chocolates

British Car Auctions

We Buy Any Car


Work highlights

  • Handling several matters on behalf of the client which include claims often involving unpaid fees and dishonoured cheques. The firm also pursues sellers in respect of breaches of warranties and individuals and companies on unpaid accounts.
  • Acting for ITV Global in recovering debts arising from programme and IP licensing.
  • Acting for a caterer in debt recovery claims in respect of several unpaid invoices for services provided over the course of 2 years.

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South East: Finance

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Described as 'an insolvency and restructuring team at the top of their game', Charles Russell Speechlys LLP 's Guilford based team carries out a full range of contentious and non-contentious work, acting for insolvency practitioners, lenders and financial institutions, companies, directors and stakeholders. The team specialises in a number of sectors including pharmacy, retail, sport, private wealth and real estate. James Hyne heads the practice and holds significant international insolvency expertise. Senior associate Daniel Moore is another key name to note.

Practice head(s):James Hyne

Other key lawyers:Daniel Moore; Praveen Reddy; Hanh Nguyen


'The team is technically good, very commercial and responsive to the needs of clients. The advice is couched in language that makes it accessible to non-lawyers and addresses the issues and questions raised.'

'Highly commercial and practical, giving clear advice promptly and backing this up with solid law!'

'James Hyne is exceptionally gifted, bright and great with clients. He has a wide range of knowledge and an ability to get to the heart of the problem...then find the answer.'

'Dan Moore is a real one to watch for the future.'

'Prav Reddy is exceptional: he is very knowledgeable, has excellent contacts and is a real pleasure to work with. He is hard working, yet gives off an air of sublime confidence which translates into sturdy and robust advice.'

'Hanh Ngyuen is very responsive and actively involves the team in engagements. She can always be relied upon to put in the time to get the right result'

Key Clients

Alix Partners Services UK LLP

Credit Suisse (UK) Limited

Turpin Barker Armstrong

Grant Thornton UK Limited

Alvarez & Marsal

Leonard Curtis Business Recovery

James Cowper Kreston

MBI Coakley Restructuring and Insolvency

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Central Bank of Bahrain

Work highlights

  • Ongoing role for the External Administrator of Awal Bank pursuing the recovery of assets from creditors in high value litigation in both the English High Court and the Cayman Islands.
  • Advising joint administrators on their court appointment and subsequent pre-pack sale of Pacepacker Services' business and assets.
Leading individuals

James Hyne - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Rising stars

Daniel Moore - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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South East: Human resources

Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The Charles Russell Speechlys LLP employment, pensions and immigration group is headed by Nick Hurley who is highly rated for contentious work in addition to advising on areas such as reorganisations and business transfers. The team counts an impressive list of international and national companies among its clients with a growing focus on those in the finance and TMT sectors. Ben Smith is in demand for his broad skills in HR matters including redundancies and dismissals and TUPE matters and Andy Williams' ' sound judgement is always valued on all HR issues'. Emily Chalkley is one of a number of associates who also garners appreciation.

Practice head(s):Nick Hurley

Other key lawyers:Ben Smith; Andy Williams; Emily Chalkley


'CRS is undoubtedly one of the best regional and City practices, combining the right partners and associates with the right skill levels to match client requirements.'

'Andy Williams and his team are excellent. Always client focused and attentive and they totally understand my commercial needs.'

'Andy Williams is extremely practical and does not over complicate issues. His sound judgement is always valued on all HR issues. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him to private individuals or multi-national companies.'

'Ben Smith will always go the extra mile for his client.  He is obsessive about getting his clients the best deal.'

'Nick Hurley is a real fighter, Nick is the man you want on your side when you are going to high stakes litigation.'

'Associate Emily Chalkley has incredible attention to detail and leaves no stone unturned.'


Key Clients


Photo-Me International Plc

Amundi Asset Management

National Museum of the Royal Navy

Zenium Technology Partners Limited/CyrusOne, Inc.

Goodwin Procter LLP

DST Financial Services International Ltd

Lord Wandsworth College

Work highlights

  • Assists the client with general, ongoing  employment matters. Of late, acted for the management team on the sale of its UK and German operations.
  • Advised Amobee on its acquisition of Videology, and specifically regarding the transfer of the business and assets of Videology  to Amobee EMEA which involved TUPE and other employment issues.
  • This US firm refers its employment and pensions law matters; the team has advised on a large number of cases ranging from $5m to over $2bn.
  • Acted on a claim against the client after the dismissal of a senior compliance manager for gross misconduct following his abusive behaviour towards the company’s auditor, his immediate boss and HR.
  • Advises the UK and Swedish companies on a range of matters including defending a  number of Employment Tribunal claims and assisting on various corporate transactions, outsourcing projects and in-sourcing arrangements.
Leading individuals

Nick Hurley - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next Generation Partners

Ben Smith - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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South East: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The lawyers in Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's largely claimant-based practice frequently litigate claims against city-based insurers and within the accountancy and financial services sector. Stephen Burns and David Savage are crucial figures in the team and have recently acted for Icon 1992 in a dispute against an insurance broker pertaining to the recovery of sums. Duncan Elson is another name to note, and has vast expertise in trust and estate-based litigation.

Practice head(s):Stephen Burns; Duncan Elson; David Savage

Key Clients

Cancer Research UK

Royal National Institute of Blind People

Zenium Technology Partners Limited

Lab Lateral Limited

Icon 1992 Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented a construction client against an insurance broker to recover collateral sums paid by way of a deposit.

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South East: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises charitable trusts, charitable incorporated organisations, royal charter companies and community benefit societies on all areas of commercial, employment and real estate matters. The firm has significant experience advising military, religious and educational charities as well acting for individuals on all aspects of charitable giving and philanthropic activities. Guildford- based Duncan Elson is the main contact.

Practice head(s):Duncan Elson

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a strong profile among high net worth individuals. It also handles contentious trusts and probate matters for several not-for-profit organisations; recent work included defending clients against a number of Inheritance Act claims, representing charities in trust disputes, and also acting in a rectification claim and a proprietary estoppel claim. Elsewhere, the group deals with matters involving offshore trust jurisdictions, such as Guernsey, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Duncan Elson heads up the team, which includes Samantha Ewing, who is recommended for complex will validity claims and multifaceted Inheritance Act claims.

Practice head(s):Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:Samantha Ewing

Key Clients

The Public Trustee of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

Investment One Financial Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a court appointed Guernsey trustee in respect of five Guernsey based occupational pension schemes suffering liquidity issues, ultimately tasked with carrying out a worldwide investigation into the conduct and management of the schemes by the Former Trustees.
  • Representing the corporate co-executor to the estate of an extremely wealthy Nigerian investment banker in proceedings brought against the estate by both the trustee of a Caymanian trust settled by the deceased and the occupier (and friend of the deceased) of a valuable London property held pursuant to that trust.
  • Representing the son of a highly successful farmer and property developer in a proprietary estoppel claim in respect of property valued in excess of £100m.
  • Representing the ex-wife and children of a successful entrepreneur as beneficiaries to his estate in matters relating to the sale of his company, realisation of his numerous business ventures and the construction of his will.
  • Representing the principal beneficiary of a trust containing a notable English Estate in ascertaining his interest under the trust and advising him on his management of the estate generally.
Leading individuals

Duncan Elson - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Rising stars

Samantha Ewing - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Family: Kent, Surrey, Sussex - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The Charles Russell Speechlys LLP team offers outstanding expertise in challenging children cases including international relocations, child protection  and abuse allegations and domestic and international adoptions. This is in addition to financial disputes over business assets, trusts, pension and tax issues. Karen Wilsher and Shona Alexander lead the team; William Rollin  has a focus on financial disputes side of divorces and the breakdown of civil partnerships and the 'well thought of' Felicity Chapman has significant expertise in areas including nuptial and cohabitation agreements and children and domestic abuse cases. The team is further boosted with the return of Claire Devine  following maternity leave.

Practice head(s):Karen Wilsher; Shona Alexander

Other key lawyers:William Rollin; Felicity Chapman; Claire Devine


'An excellent firm all round. The family lawyers are all efficient, well versed in this area of the law and approachable. Some other firms take on clients without appearing to give them a realistic opinion on the merits of their case and appear to be happy to run it just for the fees. This is never the case with CRS.'

'The family team work tirelessly for their clients, providing a thorough and detailed approach to case management and sensitive yet robust advice where needed. The presentation of their cases is second to none and yet they remain a very friendly and approachable team as a whole.  Their problem solving approach is to be commended.'

'I particularly rate Karen Wilshire. She is a very able and experienced lawyer.  She is both knowledgeable and practical and gives sensible and realistic advice to clients. She also has a very caring and empathetic manner which clients warm to.'

'Claire Devine has recently returned to CRS.  She is also approachable and knowledgeable.'

'Shona Alexander is a great leader of the family team.  Her technical knowledge is fantastic but she is equally approachable and easy to work with.'

'Felicity Chapman is also a very experienced solicitor who deals with some complex work.  Whilst the team will always push for the best outcome for their clients, they are also realistic and sensible in their approach, searching for the compromise where one is possible.'

Work highlights

  • Representing a spouse in complex financial proceedings involving assets across jurisdictions and held in complex structures and advising on issues relating to the children of the marriage.
  • Represented a spouse in complex financial proceedings which were successfully settled by way of private FDR. There were significant assets in the UK and Europe  and complicated tax issues to resolve.
  • Representing a spouse in respect of Family Law Act proceedings, divorce and financial remedy proceedings. Successfully obtained an ex parte non-molestation order and advised on financial matters.
Leading individuals

Karen Wilsher - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Shona Alexander - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Rising stars

William Rollin - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Personal tax, trusts and probate: Kent, Surrey, Sussex - ranked: tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Sally Ashford heads the non-contentious private client team at the 'excellent all round firm' Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and has extensive experience assisting high-net-worth individuals, family business owners in relation to their estates and succession planning, including inheritance tax mitigation and trusts. The practice also undertakes Court of Protection matters including deputyship and statutory will applications and works with colleagues in other practice areas such as corporate, litigation and real estate. It also provides a range of services to major charities including Cancer Research UK. Senior associate Gareth Walliss is noted for his tax and trust planning skills.

Practice head(s):Sally Ashford

Other key lawyers:Gareth Walliss

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South East: Real estate

Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
Commercial property: Kent, Surrey, Sussex - ranked: tier 2

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP offers the gamut of real estate expertise to clients across areas including retail and leisure, charities, industrial and energy sectors. Ingrid Saffin has notable experience of complex transactions in the healthcare sector and also advises investors and corporate occupiers. Gavin Partridge joined the team in April 2019 from Mundays LLP.

Practice head(s):Ingrid Saffin

Other key lawyers:Claire Timmings; Heather Cross; Gavin Partridge


'The team came highly recommended and did not disappoint.'


Key Clients

Nike Retail BV/Nike (UK)

Converse Retail (UK) and Converse Netherlands BV

Octopus Property


CareTech Holdings Plc

Optima Care Limited

Dentex Healthcare Group

Pivotal Housing Group

Juno Health UK and Bregal Freshstream

Westlin Bearsted

Work highlights

  • Acts on all aspects of the management of the client's UK property portfolios, including acquisitions, renewals, disposals, leases and licences for works.  
  • Acting for the specialist finance provider on a variety of development financing transactions, including major refurbishments, new builds and residential and commercial projects.  
  • Assists on the management of more than 500 property portfolios including renewals of leases and property acquisitions work.
  • Advising this niche developer on the multi-million pound redevelopment, sale and leaseback to leading UK care homes operator Care UK of a new 75 room care home facility on the new Kent Medical Campus, a matter valued at more than £16.5m.
  • Advising this longstanding client  on the second sale (£31.5m) and  leaseback of a portfolio of 24 care home properties with a rent roll in excess of £900,000 per annum over a 150 year term.

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Construction - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's team 'does not disappoint', as is reflected by it generating work from construction sector clients, as well as those active in the healthcare, transport, energy, education and not-for-profit arenas. Practice head David Savage, who is dual-qualified as a solicitor and barrister, is knowledgeable about the gamut of construction issues; he advises on matters arising from the earliest procurement strategy discussions through to dispute avoidance/resolution, the close out of major final accounts. Recently promoted partner Andrew Keeley advises on construction and engineering contracts for commercial and prime residential projects, as well as professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):David Savage

Other key lawyers:Andrew Keeley; Kate Knox; Sarah Evans


'The team is experienced in construction and has knowledge of  sector-specific best practices, and, in particular, is able to present FIDIC contracts and adapt them so as to apply to different jurisdictions'.

'We value the consistently-delivered expertise and prompt assistance'.

'David Savage and associate Jack Horsley take personalized approach based on the client's specific circumstances and provide well-judged and timely legal solutions'.

'David Savage and associate Jack Horsley are very attentive and responsive; both are skilled in translating legal terminology for the layman'.

'Andrew Keeley deals with our requirements efficiently and promptly'.

Key Clients

Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications, Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Church Commissioners for England

The Energy Technologies Institute

Eton College

Caring Homes Group

Westminster Abbey

Aberdeen Asset Management

Northvale Construction Limited

Margaret Howell Limited

Work highlights

  • David Savage continues to advise the Government of Bahrain on procurement and construction law issues arising from the Bahrain Airport Modernisation Project, a $1.1bn redevelopment of Bahrain Airport.
  • Receive multiple instructions from the Caring Homes group in relation to the construction and redevelopment of their new and existing care homes.
  • Eton College is enhancing its sports offering for its students with addition of Eton College’s new indoor sports facilities on two different sites; the firm is advising on the preparation of professional appointments and amendments to the JCT Contracts for these projects.
  • The Pirbright Institute is nearing the completion of a 10-year £400m redevelopment programme; the firm is advising on the construction aspects of Phase Two, which includes facilities to support research into poultry diseases, and new bio-containment facilities to support in vivo research into diseases affecting large animals.
  • The firm is advising a client on a dispute which raises complex legal issues concerning the ability to open up and re-measure items previously agreed during the partnering project.
Leading individuals

David Savage - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Rising stars

Andrew Keeley - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Jointly led by Peter Levaggi and David Haines, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's property litigation department combines 'exceptional legal talent with the sheen of a cheerful can-do attitude'. It generates a regular flow of both commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, and also has experience of property insolvency, leasehold enfranchisement and compulsory purchase order claims. Richard Flenley is a name to note.

Practice head(s):Peter Levaggi; David Haines

Other key lawyers:Richard Flenley


'Good at listening, tactful when dealing with the other side and always puts the client at ease'.

'Charles Russell Speechlys has a full-service property litigation team capable of handling disputes ranging from landlord and tenant to complex claims involving banking elements'.

'David Haines is without competition at both the national level and regionally; he is super bright, a great communicator and has a legal brain second to none'.

'Natalie Deuchar is bright, ambitious and on a stellar trajectory. She has a great rapport with clients and can think outside the box when unusual solutions are required'.

'Richard Flenley is able, personable and able gets down to work without a fuss'.

'Peter Levaggi is a great strategist'.

Key Clients

County Enforcement Group

CitySprint (UK) Limited

Charles Terence Estates Limited

NEC (UK) Limited

Bard Group

The Ernest Cook Trust

HW Fisher

Save the Children

National Crime Agency

wagamama Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Ernest Cook Trust on the various different impacts on its estate at Hartwell, Buckinghamshire as a result of the proposed HS2 railway line.

  • Acting for an individual in a long running property dispute over agricultural and residential properties.
  • Acting for the The Trustees of the Matliwala Family Charitable Trust in a contested and complex collective enfranchisement claim concerning freehold property at the Lawrence Wharf Docklands Estate.
  • Acting for clients, who all own properties in and around the proposed Lower Thames Crossing scheme promoted by Highways England (by development consent order). Dispute over compensation payable to the clients following the acceptance of blight notices by Highways England.

  • Assisted Henry Streeter Limited with successfully obtaining a very rare 'unit of assistance' in respect of property at the former Homebase store in Croydon to stop repeated trespass.
Leading individuals

David Haines - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Peter Levaggi - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next Generation Partners

Richard Flenley - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Further information on Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai


Offices in Manama


Offices in London


Offices in Luxembourg


Offices in Doha

South East

Offices in Guildford

South West

Offices in Cheltenham


Offices in Geneva and Zurich

Legal Developments by:
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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