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Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

ONE LONDON SQUARE, CROSS LANES, GUILDFORD, SURREY, GU1 1UN, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01483 252525
Fax:
Fax 01483 252550
DX:
2436 GUILDFORD-1
Email:
Web:
www.charlesrussellspeechlys.com
Cheltenham, Doha, Dubai, Geneva, Guildford, London and 4 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 (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a β€˜very capable, professional and highly respected team’ that advises on the full range of corporate and commercial matters, including M&A, joint ventures and management buyouts, for clients in the manufacturing, leisure and biotech industries. The team assisted Guava International with the disposal of its Jaguar Land Rover Service Centre to Inchcape Retail, and advised Associated World Investments on the disposal of Ainsworth Game Technology to Novomatic. Other highlights included assisting DCB, a provider of building, refurbishment and maintenance services, on its sale to Bilby for Β£4m, and acted for Acal on its acquisitions of Contour Holdings and Contour Electronics Asia. Other clients include Eliquo Water Group, Day Lewis and ITV. The team is led by highly regarded commercial IT and outsourcing expert Geoffrey Sparks and includes Catherine Drew, who focuses on transactional matters; senior associate Rebecca Burford, who β€˜is able to quickly grasp, understand and effectively communicate complex issues’; and senior associate Jonathan Steele, who β€˜is extremely attentive’.

Next generation lawyers

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 (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP β€˜goes over and above the call of duty’ for clients in the automotive, food and IT sectors. The team represented hairstylist Josh Wood in relation to his business, Josh Wood Hair, in an unfair prejudice shareholder dispute with a former business partner, eventually settling the claim. Other clients include Infor, which the client continued to represent in multiple disputes in 2016 including a reseller agreement dispute in the Middle East. Other highlights included representing We Buy Any Car in a dispute with an auction house pertaining to card transactions at the auction stage. The team is led by experienced high court litigator Duncan Elson, who β€˜is truly excellent very experienced and knowledgeable’; supply chain and automotive sector specialist Jamie Cartwright who β€˜is an up-and-coming star’; and Stephen Burns, who β€˜is a tenacious, but calm and tactical lawyer’.

Leading individuals

Duncan Elson - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next generation lawyers

Jamie Cartwright - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP β€˜has an excellent understanding of each client’s business’. The firm focuses on servicing commercial clients on the full spectrum of debt recovery needs, as well as having experience in property debt collection and finance defaults for debtors and lenders. The team continued to advise British Car Auctions on multiple debt recovery matters including unpaid fees and debt litigation. It also regularly assists ITV with debt recovery issues arising from programme and IP licensing matters, often involving cross-border litigation. Other clients include We Buy Any Car, Fiat Chrysler and Infor. The practice is led by the highly regarded Jamie Cartwright, who was promoted to partner in May 2016 and took over responsibility for the practice from Duncan Elson.

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South East: Finance

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

The β€˜unrivalled’ and β€˜collaborative’ insolvency team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in Guildford β€˜combines great technical and legal knowledge with a depth of experience and a pragmatic and commercial approach’. Its focus on fraud and high-value litigation gives it β€˜more hands-on experience’ and a β€˜better’ ability to β€˜predict outcomes and manage expectations’. The practice also handles administrations and restructuring work on the advisory and transactional side. The firm’s client spectrum ranges from practitioners, lenders and financial institutions to private companies, directors and stakeholders, with particular expertise in the pharmacy, retail, sport, private wealth and real estate sectors (β€˜a heavy cross-over between insolvency and property law is one of the lawyers’ unique selling points’). Roger Elford, who has an β€˜excellent eye for detail and particular experience in property matters’, advised the government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on the Chapter 11 of the $3bn Baha Mar hotel resort, and on its subsequent restructuring and negotiations with the Chinese developer. Head of team James Hyne – β€˜a fantastic leader with brilliant client care skills’ – assisted MBI Coakley as joint administrators of Barrowfen Properties with a Β£4m loan in order to pay for undisputed claims. Hyne and β€˜future star’ associate Daniel Moore supported Elford in his matter for the Central Bank of Bahrain relating to Awal Bank’s ongoing multimillion-dollar administration. The β€˜diligent and much-liked’ Prav Reddy represented Turpin Barker Armstrong as the joint administrators of Jacksons during its Β£6.75m sale to Dexters London.

Leading individuals

James Hyne - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next generation lawyers

Daniel Moore - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Roger Elford - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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South East: Human resources

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP excels in handling the full range of employment matters, including large-scale company restructurings, pensions issues, shareholder and director exit strategies, and immigration matters. The team advised Ericsson on outsourcing agreements and successfully represented the client in an employment tribunal case concerning whether TUPE applied to an employee away on long-term sick leave. It also assisted Photo-Me International with the employment law aspects of its acquisition of Asda’s photo shop arm, including assisting with TUPE transfers, share purchase agreement negotiations and new contract documentation. Sports Direct, International Financial Data Services, Lord Wandsworth College and Zenium Technology Partners are also clients. Department head Nick Hurley β€˜is very commercial and cost-effective’ and β€˜an exceptional negotiator and tactician’. Ben Smith, who was promoted to partner in May 2016, β€˜is very hardworking, dedicated to the client’s cause and commercial’. Also recommended are Andy Williams, who β€˜fights tooth and claw for his clients, is highly practical and very approachable’, and associate Emily Chalkley, who β€˜is incredibly thorough and conscientious’.

Next generation lawyers

Ben Smith - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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South East: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s β€˜excellent practice’ is β€˜particularly good on the private client side of disputes’, acting for a range of claimants in actions against solicitors, accountants, financial advisers and construction professionals. Stephen Burns predominantly handles business disputes, and also has substantial experience in the technology, telecoms and healthcare sectors. David Savage is β€˜the kind of litigator you want on your side – good with the law, a fantastic thinker and able to engage in commercial bargaining with the other side’; he is noted for his expertise in construction-related claims. Senior associate Andrew Keeley is the other key figure, regularly handling negligence claims against architects, quantity surveyors and engineers. Active clients include Cancer Research UK, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Zenium Technology Partners.

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South East: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is β€˜a well-respected firm in the landed estates and agricultural sector’, and has β€˜an impressive breadth of knowledge, with strong specialist expertise and a high level of understanding’. The group advises on tax, trusts and succession issues, estate management and landed estate and rural property transactions, and has a strong client base of private individuals and estate owners. Sally Ashford heads the private client practice, where property litigator David Haines is also a key figure. Jonathan Thompson has β€˜a clear grasp of matters impinging on agricultural legal affairs’, and β€˜is skilled at handling complex and sensitive client relationships’.

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides β€˜a gold-standard service’, offering β€˜clear and focused advice and a good application of wider experience’. The firm counts a number of national and global charities and not-for-profit organisations as its clients, some key names including Samaritans and Cancer Research UK. The team acts for Save the Children on all aspects of the management of its leasehold property portfolio, advising on acquisitions, renewals and disposals. The practice is headed by the β€˜vastly experienced’ Duncan Elson, who β€˜has managed a huge range of disputes in his time, and is always calm and accommodating’. Other key figures include tax and succession expert George Duncan; Sally Ashford, who advises on legacy administration and campaign literature; and Ben Smith, who advises charity clients on the full range of employment matters. The β€˜knowledgeable, trustworthy and professional’ Kate Parkinson is also a name to note.

Next generation lawyers

Kate Parkinson - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is β€˜top of the range in its field’, and the team β€˜has an unwavering commitment to its clients, excellent knowledge and a no-nonsense approach’. The firm receives mandates from numerous major charities, advising on trust, probate and charity litigation along with contentious Court of Protection matters. Litigation partner Duncan Elson is β€˜a statesman of the field’ and β€˜can smooth over troubled disputes with a calm word’, and practice head Graeme Kleiner is β€˜known for handling complex international trust disputes, fighting for his clients with great tenacity while never losing sight of the pragmatics of trying to reach a commercial deal’. Cancer Research UK is a key client.

Leading individuals

Duncan Elson - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next generation lawyers

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 (Guildford)

Clients rate Charles Russell Speechlys LLP as β€˜a top-tier law firm that provides excellent advice and service’. It is well-versed in financial matters arising from divorce proceedings, including advising clients on onshore and offshore asset management, tax issues arising from business assets, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, and financial remedy proceedings. The team’s experience in children cases extends to international relocation disputes, domestic and sexual abuse issues, and child abduction cases. Its client roster includes high-net-worth individuals and commercial business owners in the South East region and London, extending to international clients in Europe and beyond. Shona Alexander, who joined from Forsters LLP in May 2016 and is β€˜a very hard litigator who provides exceptional skill’, jointly heads the practice with Karen Wilsher, who is β€˜sensible, efficient, hardworking and approachable’. They are ably supported by β€˜efficient, caring and sensible’ senior associate William Rollin and Felicity Chapman (also a senior associate) who β€˜cuts through the very most complex cases with ease’.

Leading individuals

Karen Wilsher - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Next generation lawyers

William Rollin - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s Guildford-based team β€˜has all the resources and quality of its London colleagues’. Clients recommend the firm for complex will drafting and inheritance tax planning; other areas of expertise include multimillion-pound estate administrations, Court of Protection applications and wealth protection for high-net-worth individuals. Non-contentious department leader Sally Ashford is β€˜a very well-respected and pragmatic lawyer’ and dispute resolution head Duncan Elson is β€˜the go-to person in the region for family legacy and trust disputes’. Senior associate Gareth Walliss (who is β€˜everything one could hope for in a professional adviser’) is also recommended.

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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 (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP β€˜is very responsive; clients can rely on it to get the job done’. It advises clients in the healthcare, energy and logistics sectors, as well as lenders and banks, on the full remit of matters including secured lending, acquisitions and divestments, and freehold negotiations and agreements. The team advised wagamama on three property acquisitions in Manchester, Colchester and Reigate, including advising on lease renewals and. The firm also has a particular specialism in commercial property matters for clients in the charity sector; it assisted Barnardo’s with various lease acquisitions, licence negotiations and property management issues, and advised Save the Children Fund on multiple acquisitions and lease renewals. CareTech, Eliquo Water Group and Disability Challengers are also on the client roster. Retail and leisure sector expert Debra Kent leads the team, which includes the β€˜excellent’ David Haines and senior associate and corporate occupier specialist Claire Timmings.

Leading individuals

Debra Kent - Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’ β€˜first-class’ practice provides β€˜consistently high levels of service’; overall the team is β€˜responsive, pragmatic and willing to work closely with the client to meet their requirements’. The firm undertakes a significant amount of construction and engineering work for high-profile companies and high-net-worth individuals, and is particularly strong in the healthcare, transport, energy and charities sectors. Practice head David Savage is β€˜an extremely knowledgeable lawyer’ who β€˜has a broad range of experience in construction matters, which he is able to bring to bear in a very effective way’; Savage recently advised the Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications in Bahrain on a procurement strategy for the Bahrain Airport Modernisation project, a redevelopment valued at $1bn.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP (Guildford)

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a β€˜strong property litigation team’ that provides β€˜an excellent service’ and β€˜has a very good knowledge of the real estate sector’. The group has a strong track record across the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court as well as in tribunal litigation, and is particularly noted for its expertise in handling mortgage-based compensation claims against banks arising from interest rate hedging products. The group recently acted for the National Crime Agency on the enforcement of property possession orders in relation to Β£300m-worth of seized assets, a matter handled by β€˜tough negotiator’ Peter Levaggi. David Haines is the other key figure and is praised for his β€˜excellent level of all-round knowledge’.

Next generation lawyers

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.

Bahrain

Offices in Manama

London

Offices in London

Luxembourg

Offices in Luxembourg

Qatar

Offices in Doha

South East

Offices in Guildford

South West

Offices in Cheltenham

Switzerland

Offices in Geneva and Zurich

Legal Developments by:
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

  • Annual reports and annual general meetings

    With the Summer annual general meeting (AGM) season now on the horizon, many company secretaries and general counsel will be considering the preparation for their AGMs and the publication of their annual reports. 

    - Speechly Bircham

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