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Ashfords LLP

ASHFORD HOUSE, GRENADIER ROAD, EXETER, EX1 3LH, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01392 337000
DX:
150000 EXETER 24
Email:
Web:
www.ashfords.co.uk

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Bristol
Corporate and commercial: Bristol - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has built up strong global client relationships via its membership of ADVOC, an international network of independent law firms, and other international connections. Its corporate and commercial practice is frequently involved in cross-border transactions. The team also has a strong reputation nationally, and its other work includes IPOs, restructurings, venture capital transactions and corporate governance advice. Practice head Andrew Betteridge has a strong track record advising clients on share purchases and investments.

Practice head(s):Andrew Betteridge

Other key lawyers:Chris Dyson; Rory Suggett;

Testimonials

'Technically strong team with a commercial and creative edge'

'Andrew Betteridge approaches legal work with a creative mindset'

'Andrew doesn't just fulfill instructions, but also proposes alternatives where appropriate'

Key Clients

Frog Capital

BGF

Notion Capital

Marie Hewitt Interiors Ltd

Armada Civil Engineering (SW) Limited

Hello Fresh

Samworth Brothers Limited

Draper Esprit

eMoov

Creditcall Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a trio of venture capital funds (Notion Capital, Eden Ventures and BGF) on the $350m sale of NewVoiceMedia to Vonage.
  • Acting for venture capital clients (Holtzbrinck Ventures, Frog Capital and Notion Capital) on the sale of Dealflo Limited to VASCO Data Security Inc.
  • Advised eMoov on the purchase of Urban Sales and Lettings Limited as part of a wider merger with Teplio.
  • Acted for Eden Ventures Limited on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Mobileum UK to Mobileum US.

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Corporate and commercial: The West Country
Corporate and commercial: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

In addition to having a strong presence in the South West, Ashfords LLP handles corporate and commercial work for nationwide clients. The firm also leverages its membership of international networks to handle cross-border deals. Corporate work includes management buyouts, joint ventures, IPOs, restructurings and corporate governance advice, as well as M&A. Louise Workman heads up the team in Exeter.

Practice head(s):Louise Workman

Testimonials

'One of the strongest law firms in the south west market'

'We have no hesitation recommending them to clients, their service is always of excellent quality'

Key Clients

Frog Capital

BGF

Notion Capital

Marie Hewitt Interiors Ltd

Armada Civil Engineering (SW) Limited

Hello Fresh

Samworth Brothers Limited

Draper Esprit

eMoov

Creditcall Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised TLH Bidco Limited on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Torquay Leisure Hotels Limited.
  • Represented the shareholders of Frugi on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Recoleta Bidco Limited
  • Assisted Swallowfield Plc with the £2.7m acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Fish London Limited.
  • Advised the managers of Creditcall Group Limited on the sale of the company to Network Merchants LLC for an undisclosed sum.
Leading individuals

Louise Workman - Ashfords LLP

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP distinguishes itself in corporate reorganisations, particularly in the context of demerging high-value property investment businesses without incurring tax liabilities for associated shareholders or the companies involved in the demerger. The team regularly provides tax structuring advice for corporate groups, standalone entities and individual private clients. It also has significant experience of employment taxation, cross-border tax issues, VAT and stamp duty, among other areas. Practice head Angus Bauer primarily advises clients on income, corporate and capital gains tax issues.

Practice head(s):Angus Bauer

Other key lawyers:Nicola Manclark

Key Clients

Galliford Try Partnerships Limited

Viridor Waste Management Limited

Gemalto N.V

Schlumberger Plc

Centrax Limited

Datarama Technologies Limited

Taylor Wimpey Plc

Wessex Exploration Plc

Swallowfield Plc

BDW Trading Limited Plc

Eden Ventures

Cogen Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised selling shareholders in the sale of all the shares in Cut4Cloth Limited to True Capital Limited, and also part rollover of shares into the buying vehicle. The team advised on structuring the sale, applying for and obtaining income tax and capital gains tax clearances and negotiation of tax aspects of sale and purchase documentation.
  • Advised Swallowfield Plc on the acquisition of Fish London Limited, including tax aspects of transaction documents and VAT issues relating to separate purchase of IP rights.
  • Advised the management team and the buying company on the purchase of all the issued share capital on the management buyout ("MBO") of Torbay Leisure Hotel Limited, including negotiating tax issues in the share-purchase agreement and advising on employment-related securities.
  • Advised Cogen Limited on stamp duty land tax in connection with the site of a developing power plan, as well as negotiating tax aspects of the agreement with the investor.
Leading individuals

Angus Bauer - Ashfords LLP

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has built up a strong reputation in the field of state aid, acting for a diverse range of clients across the public, private and third sectors. It has a particularly strong client following local authorities. Elizabeth Gibson in Exeter heads up the practice, which handles funded projects, contractual and governance matters, and regulatory issues. The team is also active in the  public procurement sphere, with its work including the drafting of procurement risk reports, advice notes and funding agreements.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Gibson

Other key lawyers:Lucy Woods

Key Clients

Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council

Somerset County Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Exeter City Council

HFL group of companies limited

London Borough of Lambeth

Wandsworth Borough Council

Cornwall Council

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

Work highlights

  • Advising Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council on the 'Fastershire' project using funding from both the central government's Broadband Delivery UK programme and match funding from the councils.
  • Advised Somerset County Council on its application for European Regional Development Fund funding towards its inward investment scheme, set to deliver investment for non-EU small and medium enterprises in Devon and Somerset.
  • Acting for Council of the Isles of Scilly on its electric vehicle project to secure grant funding for an ICT platform to manage the fleet, including a solar energy interface.
  • Providing advice to London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on its tendering process for the design and construction of an innovative new arts and community centre.
  • Acting for Exeter City Council on its procurement of a new state of the art leisure complex.

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South West: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: fraud
Crime: fraud - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

With its specialism in representing private prosecutors for fraud offences, Ashfords LLP advises individual clients, public institutions and corporate clients from the construction and finance sectors on all aspects of criminal litigation, including anti-bribery measures, fraud prevention and claims for compensation arising from fraudulent activities. The practice is headed by senior associate Jeremy Asher, who has been covering both defence and prosecution for more than 20 years.

Practice head(s):Jeremy Asher

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Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP covers private prosecution, anti-bribery and corruption, anti-tax evasion as well as traditional defence work regarding matters involving road traffic offences, animal welfare and immigration. The firm also defends firms facing prosecution for offences under the Companies Act, the Insolvency Act and Criminal Justice Act 2003. The practice is experienced in handling fraud cases and regularly advises governmental institutions and local authorities on criminal and fraudulent activities.

Practice head(s):Jeremy Asher

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 4

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP acts for both regional and blue-chip national clients in IT contractual disputes, retail disputes, professional negligence cases and contentious financial services cases. The firm's panel appointment with Lloyds Bank sees it handle claims against professional advisers, such as solicitors and valuers. Practice head Rory Mac Neice has experience of representing sporting clients at regulatory hearings, including matters involving allegations of match fixing and doping.

Practice head(s):Rory Mac Neice

Other key lawyers:James Morrison

Key Clients

Post Office Limited

Environment Agency

Lloyds Bank Plc

Bank of Scotland Plc

Ultimate Finance Group Plc

Race Course Association Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented the Environment Agency in claims brought by flood victims relating to negligence and nuisance.
  • Acted for a client in a claim against a national firm of surveyors concerning the significant overvaluation of a number of children's care homes.
  • Represented a foreign client in a claim against an English-registered supplier.
  • Represented a client in a contractual dispute against a software supplier in relation to the technical specification of the products supplied.
  • Acted for a client in relation to a mortgage fraud.

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Commercial litigation: The West Country
Commercial litigation: The West Country - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP attracts clients from across the country and represents them in the firm's core areas of corporate litigation, commercial contracts disputes and professional negligence claims. The varied workload includes shareholder and director disputes, corporate sales disputes, franchising agreements and claims against solicitors and accountants. Practice head Andrew Perkins primarily focuses on shareholder litigation and commercial contract disputes.

Practice head(s):Andrew Perkins

Other key lawyers:Charles Hattersley;

Testimonials

'Broad range of skills to deal with all types of fee disputes. Experts in the local County Court and practical in dealing with issues'

'Cut straight to the commercial heart of an issue, and presented a clear strategy to resolve it. Not afraid to suggest a bold approach based on good judgement'

'They undertook a fairly complicated litigation case to successful completion'

'Gruffyd Davies is an excellent team leader. He provides sound technical advice but is also sensible and commercial when dealing with issues. Calm and pragmatic even in the face of provocation by the opposite side'

'Andrew Perkins is a great combination of professionalism and relaxed manner. Tough when required, but very empathetic with core business issue. Would use again and recommend without hesitation'

'Jason Squire was the solicitor we used, and he was absolutely excellent in the organisation and diligence preparation of the case together with its supporting documentation. We cannot praise him enough'

Key Clients

Post Office Limited

Ultimate Finance Group Plc

TJX Europe Limited (TK Maxx)

Flybe Limited

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Europe Limited

James Wibberley

Andrew Brown

Work highlights

  • Assisting Turkish company Metmar with enforcing a London arbitration judgement in favour of the client in Ghana, Togo and Nigeria in order to obtain full recovery of interest and costs.
  • Defended insurance broker Ward Associates against a liability claim and subsequent appeal by the claimants.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's debt recovery team is a core part of the firm's wider restructuring and insolvency department, and is best known for the recovery of invoices. In addition, the firm assists clients with the recovery of debts from foreign debtors based abroad. Key clients include banks, professional service firms, local authorities, estate agents and SMEs. Katie Farmer heads up the group.

Practice head(s):Katie Farmer

Next Generation Partners

Katie Farmer - Ashfords LLP

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's banking and finance team focuses on lending matters in key areas, such as property investments and development, as well as the energy, marine and public sectors. The varied client base includes banks, independent lenders, government agencies and corporate entities. The group advises on property development, acquisitions, trade, commercial banking, and project and asset finance. Another notable aspect of the team‚Äôs work is its involvement in contentious matters; the group is well-positioned to handle banking litigation, including lender claims. The department is led by the ‚Äėproactive‚Äô Rebecca Dury, who acts on a wide range of banking transactions. The ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô James Heath, who is based in Plymouth,¬†handles property finance work.

Practice head(s):Rebecca Dury

Other key lawyers:James Heath

Testimonials

The team has excellent knowledge of banking and is very quick to respond

'Very competent in providing practical solutions to banking clients'

Key Clients

Homes England

Exeter Finance

Santander UK

NatWest

Royal Bank of Scotland

HSBC UK

Alternative Money Solutions

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Openwide Investments

Arbuthnot Latham & Co.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Exeter Finance Limited on its provisions of loans to a number of borrowers, primarily for property acquisition and development facilities.
  • Acting for a corporate borrower on its £45.6m refinancing of London investment property assets.
  • Acting for Santander UK on its corporate loan facilities to a clothing retailer.
  • Advising Homes England on its lending and security arrangements.
  • Acting for Openwide Investments on joint refinancing matters with an Indian bank.

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

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's practice is equally strong in both corporate and personal insolvency mandates. It is particularly highly regarded for investigative/asset tracing work and cross-border insolvency matters. The department also stands out for its regulatory offering and, more particularly, for its niche in advising large law firms experiencing financial distress. The varied client base includes insolvency practitioners, secured and unsecured lenders, corporates, directors, shareholders, debtors and their families. Department head David Pomeroy has extensive expertise in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency. Alan Bennett is experienced in advising debtors exposed by personal guarantees now owned by so-called 'vulture funds'.

Practice head(s):David Pomeroy

Other key lawyers:Alan Bennett

Testimonials

The practice is unique, because it offers a City-quality solutions to clients in the South West

David Pomeroy has great all-round experience and deep knowledge of the personal insolvency market

Alan Bennett is very good during difficult negotiations and great at tackling highly technical insolvency issues

Key Clients

Albert Goodman

Bishop Fleming

PKF Francis Clark

Quantuma

Grant Thornton UK

Kingston Smith

Kirks

Lameys

Mazars

Smith & Williamson

Work highlights

  • Advising an administrator on a claim against the director's deceased estate for a substantial outstanding Director's Loan Account.
  • Advising a creditor on an application made to set aside statutory demand.
  • Advising an Estonian creditor on modifications to an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) proposed by a Lithuanian debtor.
  • Advised directors of Hamilton Grays (Devon) Limited on pre-pack sale of business and subsequently acted for the administrator.
  • Advised a liquidator on a dispute regarding invoices as well as negotiated a settlement.
Leading individuals

David Pomeroy - Ashfords LLP

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has an excellent reputation in the private healthcare and retail sectors, and it is also highly regarded in other areas; associate Jenny Marley has a particular focus on defending employment tribunal claims for social care and housing association clients. Her experience covers claims in relation to unfair dismissal, discrimination, unlawful deductions from wages and whistleblowing. Elsewhere, the employment team assists clients with enforcing and defending restrictive covenant claims, as well as dealing with other reputationally-sensitive matters. In addition, the group works closely with the corporate team to draft director's service agreements and senior employees' contracts. Stephen Moore, who leads the practice, predominantly acts for employers and senior executives in the UK, Europe and the US.

Practice head(s):Stephen Moore

Other key lawyers:Kim Wright; Jenny Marley

Key Clients

Molly Maid

Work highlights

  • Ashfords have continued to provide day-to-day employment advice and support to New Directions Limited on a broad range of employment matters, in particular restrictive covenant issues.
  • Advising a high net worth claimant on his High Court claim in relation to a failure of the employer to make a claim on the employee’s health insurance within the required time.
  • Advising iAdvize on a broad range of employment matters in relation to its UK work force.
  • Advising US-based company Aventri on a broad range of employment matters in relation to their UK work force.
  • Continue to provide day-to-day employment advice and support to the Post Office on a broad range of employment matters, in particular restrictive covenant issues.
Rising stars

Jenny Marley - Ashfords LLP

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Employment: The West Country
Employment: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP regularly represents clients in complex Employment Tribunal cases and High Court litigation. On the advisory side, its work includes assisting clients with collective redundancy consultations, employment terminations and TUPE management issues. The healthcare sector is a notable strong suit of the practice; the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust provides a significant stream of employment mandates. The firm also acts for clients in areas such as retail, energy and the public sector. Stephen Moore heads up the team, which includes senior associate Kirsty Cooke.

Practice head(s):Stephen Moore

Other key lawyers:Charles Pallot; Kirsty Cooke

Testimonials

'We predominantly use Ashfords for employment law, however in reality, our requirement for advice goes much wider than this and on each occasion they respond in an efficient manner, allocating each matter to the relevant subject expert. They offer an excellent all-round service which puts the customer first'

'Charles Pallot is a highly experienced partner who's advice is robust and pragmatic'

'Kirsty Cooke is a highly skilled professional who offers great advice'

 

Key Clients

The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

London Borough of Haringey

Ultimate Finance Limited

Wates Construction Limited

Creditcall Limited

Patron Capital Advisers LLP

Steenen Varming Limited

West Country Milk Consortium Limited

The Roald Dahl Story Company Limited

Luke Furse Earthmoving Limited

Work highlights

  • Ongoing employment advice to the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust; recently concluded a whistle-blowing case involving a consultant who remained employed by the client.
  • Instructed to act for London Borough of Haringey on employment tribunal claims, including discrimination and whistle-blowing cases and negotiating on behalf of the Council in cases of Early Conciliation.
  • Sole employment adviser to Ultimate Finance Group Limited, advising on non-contentious issues including review, preparation and application of contractual documentation, managing sickness absence and dealing with grievance and disciplinary issues.
  • Instructed by the London Borough of Lambeth to rewrite its entire suite of template employment contracts and HR Policies, Procedures and Toolkits, as part of an overall review of their suite of employment documents.
Rising stars

Kirsty Cooke - Ashfords LLP

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Immigration
Immigration - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's immigration team advises on all aspects of recruitment and employment issues for foreign nationals, as well as advising on non-contentious immigration issues for high net worth private individuals. The firm regularly acts for UK companies employing workers from outside the EU, as well advising individuals on their rights to work in the UK. The team also supports a wide range of multinational clients. Recent mandates included assisting clients with obtaining Tier 2 sponsorship rights, visa applications and corporate support. Senior associate Kirsty Cooke leads the practice.

Practice head(s):Kirsty Cooke

Other key lawyers:Laura Godfrey

Key Clients

Penhaligon's Limited

Rathlin Energy UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Penhaligon’s Limited on Tier 2 sponsorship issues and providing right to work guidance
  • Advising  Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited on Tier 2 sponsorship issues and cross-border working arrangements.
  • Assisting a client with protecting their immigration status as partner of an EEA national.
  • Advised a foreign national on obtaining a fiancé visa and an appeal against a Home Office refusal.
  • Advised a client on recruiting a team leader under Tier 2 of the points based system.

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South West: Insurance

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP regularly advises on workplace and car traffic accidents as well as on injuries sustained at public places. The firm assists with claims involving restrictions to mobility, amputations, fractures, neorological injuries as well as fatalities. Having ‚Äėexcellent forensic skills and abilities while being client-focused simultaneously‚Äô, practice head Stephen Walker is experienced in handling injury claims involving children and babies.

Practice head(s):Stephen Walker

Testimonials

The practice is characterised by its clarity and detail of instructions, accessibility, responsiveness and client focus.The team clearly has the individual client‘s best interests at heart - and it's not just about compensation.

Very client-focused and diligent.

The claimant team is very thorough in its approach to all cases. It is always aware of the key issues and deals with everything in a timely manner.

The practice always acts promptly and is clear and concise when reporting and giving advice.

Excellent and second to none.

The team is very helpful team and makes one feel at ease during meeting. The team is always available to answer any queries and explain legal issues in a very pleasant and relaxed manner.’

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

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP advises on brain and multiple injury claims arising from situations including road traffic accidents and animal attacks as well as public and private events. ‚ÄėThe robust, yet sensible, negotiator‚Äô Flora Wood head the practice and specialises in loss claims and catastrophic injuries, which involves expertise in niche industries such as injuries arising from sports racing events.

Practice head(s):Flora Wood

Testimonials

The vastly experienced team is always mindful of the commercial objectives of the client and the benefits of early settlement. It is meticulously prompt in dealing with all stages of litigation and pre-litigation settlement.

The team is always available.

Flora Wood is very experienced in all types of personal injury claims. She is always clear and realistic in her advice to insurer clients. She is confident and well-prepared in her conduct of litigation.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP is involved in providing legal advice on the claimant side and regularly advises on claims in the banking, construction, legal and accounting sectors. The firm acts for banks and lending institutions on claims against professional advisers such as surveyors, tax advisers and solicitors. The firm is also experienced in assisting construction and real estate companies on negligence claims arising from negligent design, cost advice and project management.

Practice head(s):Rory Mac Neice; Victoria Bonnet

Key Clients

Lloyds Bank plc

Bank of Scotland plc

Midas Construction

Canterbury City Council

Exeter City Council

Cofton Country Holidays

Work highlights

  • Advising on a £500k claim against a veterinary clinic arising from a poor treatment of a racing horse.
  • Advising on a claim against solicitors concerning negligent advice concerning a development site.
  • Acted in respect of a claim against a national firm of surveyors concerning the overvaluation of several children's care homes.
  • Advised Midas Construction on a £1m claim against a timber frame contractor and architect in relation to a defective timber frame residential house.
  • Advising Cofton Country Holidays on a £2.5m claim against architects in relation to the refurbishment and extension of a holiday park.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP advises on succession planning and farm management, the financing of land sales and purchases, the development of farm-based energy projects, as well as on the drafting and negotiation of contract farming and partnership agreements. The firm also assists with the drafting and amendment of feedstock supply contracts. Other areas of expertise include advice on planning issues, including planning enforcement and certificates of lawfulness. The 'outstanding' Darren Blackburn heads the practice.

Practice head(s):Darren Blackburn

Testimonials

A friendly and personable practice.

The team is technically strong with depth and high servicing standards

Ashfords has a knowledgeable, friendly and approachable team with good local knowledge of the agricultural property sector. The team is always willing to help and provide sound reasoned advice to clients

Darren Blackburn is outstanding

Work highlights

  • Advising on contentious intestate estate involving a deathbed gift claim and an application for contempt of court with potential criminal sanctions
  • Administering a £1.45m estate involving legacy payments and deed of variations
  • Made a successful challenge to Ofgem on behalf of Struss & Parker (Farms), around the applicability of renewable heat incentives for Proflo feedstock
  • Advising on the purchase of a £7m property holding from the Crown

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP advises charities on regulatory and governance issues including their incorporation as entities or trusts. The practice also assists with legacy administration, which involves disputed wills and trusts, proprietary claims and administration disputes. Other areas of expertise involve advice on the prevention of reputational damage arising from contentious matters. Senior associate Barny Croft joined the firm from Michelmores LLP in May 2018.

Practice head(s):John Toth; Kerry Morgan-Gould

Other key lawyers:Barny Croft

Key Clients

Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust

The Eggbeer Trust

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust on planning and property development.
  • Providing strategic advice to the Eggbeer Trust on restructuring, property acquisition and the granting of tenancies and licences over charity-owned property.
  • Providing strategic oversight of charity activities for the Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust.
  • Advised on defending a charity’s legacy, following a challenge to the validity of the will, on the grounds of testamentary capacity and undue influence.
  • Marine licensing for Royal National Lifeboat Institution infrastructure.

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

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP assists with the challenging of wills, provides advice on mental capacity issues regarding the formulation of wills, and has expertise in implementing the removal and addition of executors and trustees. The practice is also experienced in cross-border disputes regarding the validity of marriages and wills. Senior associate Barny Croft, who joined from Michelmores LLP in May 2018, specialises in contentious trusts, probate and estates.

Practice head(s):Robert Horsey

Other key lawyers:Kerry Morgan-Gould; Barny Croft

Testimonials

'The team is pleasant and professional in its approach and focused on solutions that benefit the client'

'A great team to work with'

'Robert Horsey instils his ethos and professionalism through the team. He remains an excellent practitioner in this field'

Work highlights

  • Advising on the removal of executors in a dispute due to physical and mental acts of violence.
  • Advising on the nature and extent of beneficiaries’ interests under a will.
  • Advising on a cross-border claim including the interpretation of the will.
  • Challenging a will on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence and fraudulent calumny.
  • Advising on a £600,000 dispute regarding property.
Rising stars

Barny Croft - Ashfords LLP

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP handles divorce proceedings, advises on disputes involving children, collaborative law and pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and provides legal advice on the rights of unmarried couples. The firm also acts for clients in cases of severe domestic abuse and undertakes measures to protect victims. Practice head Zoe Porter specialises in financial matters arising from relationship breakdowns, while Jayne Turner focuses on advising high-net-worth individuals on the protection of inherited wealth and investment portfolios.

Practice head(s):Zoe Porter

Other key lawyers:Jayne Turner

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP advises individual real estate owners, agricultural clients, high-net-worth family members and trust corporations on succession and estate planning, tax mitigation and wealth management. Trust administration constitutes another significant focus of the practice. The firm also handles contentious tax aspects of private wealth structuring, which involves expertise in contentious offshore trust arrangements.

Practice head(s):Michael Alden; Robert Horsey

Other key lawyers:Tom Biddick; John Toth; Kerry Morgan Gould

Key Clients

High-net-worth individuals and families

Trustees of maintenance fund for heritage property

Work highlights

  • Assisting a high-net-worth family as executors of estate planning
  • Advising children of a deceased individual on estate administration including elements of domicile and potential intestacy

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

The energy and waste team at Ashfords LLP has a wealth of knowledge about renewable energy, municipal energy-from-waste, biomass and waste gasification, pyrolysis, and anaerobic digestion projects. It covers all commercial and legal aspects of domestic and international projects, including transactions and contentious matters. Neel Mehta joined from TLT in July 2018, boosting the firm’s capacity to advise on complex energy-from-waste issues. Practice head Ruth Murray provides advice on project development, contracts and commissioning of large high-value energy generation schemes and renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):Ruth Murray

Other key lawyers:Neel Mehta

Testimonials

'Leaders in very niche areas'

'Very quick to respond'

Key Clients

Ixora Energy

Fraddon Biogas

Strutt & Parker (Farms)

CoGen

Mariana Capital Markets LLP

LocalGlobe

A London-based EIS Fund

Public Power Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advising Ixora on the optimisation of a £100m portfolio of anaerobic digestion facilities.
  • Representing Fraddon Biogas in a challenge by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) regarding the eligibility of glycerol use under the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI) regulations.
  • Representing Strutt & Parker (Farms) in a challenge by Ofgem regarding the eligibility of Proflo as a feedstock under the RHI regulations.
  • Advised Mariana Capital Markets on the acquisition of two solar arrays.
  • Advising Public Power Solutions on the suite of documents required to facilitate the development of a renewable energy installation.
Leading individuals

Ruth Murray - Ashfords LLP

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP distinguishes itself in infrastructure projects in the waste and renewable energy, IT and transport sectors. The team acts for a broad spectrum of clients, such as funds, authorities, developers and technology providers. Practice head Ruth Murray has a strong track record acting for clients in both the public and private sectors. Brian Farrell is another key figure in the group, which was strengthened in 2018 by the arrival of Neel Mehta from TLT.

Practice head(s):Ruth Murray

Other key lawyers:Brian Farrell

Testimonials

'Brilliant lawyers'

Key Clients

Ixora Energy

CoGen

Mariana Capital Markets LLP

Work highlights

  • Advising a large construction company on multiple PFI, PPP and NHS trust project finance projects, including contentious matters.
  • Advising Ixora Energy on the optimisation of a £100m  portfolio of anaerobic digestion facilities.
  • Advised a thermal energy company on the development of an energy-from-waste plant using gasification technology at Hooton in the Wirral.
  • Advised Mariana Capital Markets LLP on the acquisition of two solar arrays.
  • Advised Public Power Solutions on the documentation required to facilitate the development of a renewable energy installation.

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South West: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's public sector group is led by Exeter-based Elizabeth Gibson, who advises local authorities and other public bodies (including unitary, county and district councils) on public law, project structuring, governance support, procurement, state aid and EU law matters. The firm is also increasingly active in the advice to externalised public sector companies. Recent highlights for the team included housing development work, regeneration projects concerning residential and school property, and technology and broadband projects. Senior associate Lucy Woods advises on high-value projects and outsourcing.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Gibson

Other key lawyers:Lucy Woods

Key Clients

Exeter City Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Cornwall Council

HFL Group

Brick by Brick (Croydon)

Wandsworth London Borough Council

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

Work highlights

  • Advising Exeter City Council on its wholly owned housing development group of companies Exeter City Group, as well as on its procurement of a £20m state-of-the-art leisure centre.
  • Advising Council of the Isles of Scilly on its electric vehicle project to secure grant funding for an ICT platform to manage the electric vehicles fleet.
  • Assisting Cornwall Council with its £800m project to appoint contractors and consultants to cover works for construction, mechanical and electrical works and construction-orientated consultancy work.
  • Acting as HFL Group's sole legal adviser; the client was established by the London Borough of Lambeth as the "Homes for Lambeth" housing delivery venture.
  • Acting as sole legal adviser to Brick by Brick (Croydon) - a wholly owned company of Croydon Borough Council providing housing led development.
Rising stars

Lucy Woods - Ashfords LLP

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: The West Country
Commercial property: The West Country - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP‚Äôs credentials as a market-leader in the commercial property sphere are underlined by its breadth of experience in the renewable energy, franchising, healthcare, education, development and residential sectors. It acts for a broad base of clients, including housebuilders, commercial developers, contractors, investors, planners, local authorities and landowners. On the development side, practice head Tim Heal¬†(‚Äėamazing lawyer‚Äô) and Kate Topp¬†are recommended, as is¬†Andrew Rothwell. Plymouth-based James Heath¬†is noted for his secured lending work.

Practice head(s):Tim Heal

Other key lawyers:Kate Topp; Andrew Rothwell; James Heath

Testimonials

Clearly a market-leading team—the high quality of work speaks for itself

'Great professionals'

Key Clients

Barratt Homes

Biffa Waste Services

Blue Cedar

Bridgwater Gateway

Burrington Estates

Cavanna Homes

CG Fry

David Wilson Homes

DP World London Gateway

Majestic Wine

Mendip District Council

Persimmon Homes

Strongvox

Wainhomes (South West) Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acted for developer-buyer on a £15.3m acquisition of a residential development site for 170 dwellings.
  • Advising Burrington Estates on the acquisition of a site for residential development and onward sales.
  • Advising the chain on multiple agreements concerning leases and licences to underlet, lease assignments, underleases, licences permitting alterations, and other licensing.
  • Acting for Curtis Banks on sales, purchases, leases, lending and general portfolio requirements.
  • Handled a £6.3m acquisition of a 10-acre area of derelict land in Frome for Mendip District Council.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP is very active on the contentious front; in addition to handling litigation, the firm assists clients with adjudications and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. On the non-contentious side, the team generates work from clients in industries such as leisure, waste and utilities, as well as the public sector. Practice head Patrick Blake is experienced in high-value energy projects. Another key figure is Stephen Homer, who undertakes contentious and non-contentious work for local authorities, developers and contractors. In 2018, Neel Mehta joined from TLT.

Practice head(s):Patrick Blake

Other key lawyers:Stephen Homer; Neel Mehta

Testimonials

'Ashfords provides great partner-led service, supported by an outstanding team of associates'

'The team provides City-quality services'

'Steven Homer and Patrick Blake are certainly two of the most experienced construction lawyers in the region'

'Steven Homer and Patrick Blake have tremendous knowledge and demonstrate an outstanding ability to achieve clients' goals'

Key Clients

Wates Construction

Canterbury City Council

CC Construction

Cornwall Council

Exeter City Council

Midas Construction

United Living Group

BDW Trading

Parabel UK

MK Refurbishment

Yarlington Homes

Hardrock Developments

Swindon Borough Council

CG Fry & Son

Work highlights

  • Advising Exeter City Council on the construction documentation for Exeter City Council's new state-of-the-art leisure centre and swimming pool.
  • Acting for Exeter City Council on its professional negligence claim against a well-known firm of London architects.
  • Acting for Midas Construction on a claim against a timber-frame contractor and architect in relation to defective timber-frame high -end residential houses at Exmouth.
  • Assisting Canterbury City Council with a claim for negligent design and breach of contract in relation to the part-conversion of the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.
  • Advised Wates Construction on a long-term framework contract, valued at £200m.
Leading individuals

Stephen Homer - Ashfords LLP

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 4

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP’s business and regulation practice stands out due to its deep sectoral expertise in waste, energy, agriculture and construction. Apart from providing non-contentious regulatory advice, the team also defends both corporates and individuals against prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency.  Other recurring issues in the team members’ practice concern contaminated land, chemical spills, and disaster management, among others. Solicitor Jack Baumgardt and senior associate Jeremy Asher are key contacts.

Other key lawyers:Jeremy Asher; Jack Baumgardt

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP stands out for its planning offering in the public sector; the team advises local authorities on a full range of issues, such as section 106 agreements, lawful development certificates and enforcement, general conduct and decision-making powers. Elsewhere, other clients include housebuilders and developers. Also notable is that the group is experienced in judicial reviews, appeals and challenges to planning inspectors’ decisions. Graham Cridland is the head of the team. In addition to handling contentious planning work, David Richardson assists clients with residential and mixed-use developments, among other matters.

Practice head(s):Graham Cridland

Other key lawyers:David Richardson

Key Clients

Wainhomes (SW) Holdings

CoGen

Devon County Council

Bovis Homes

London Borough of Wandsworth

Gloucestershire County Council

London Borough of Brent

Persimmon Homes

LiveWest Homes

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Work highlights

  • Assisted London Borough of Brent with section 106 matters regarding the development of the former Northfields industrial site in the London Borough of Brent.
  • Assisting a local housing company with negotiations on section 106 agreements for residential developments.
  • Advising Taunton Deane District Council on the town centre regeneration of the Firepool site in Taunton. Work includes advising on compulsory purchase and section 106 issues.
  • Defended a housebuilding company against a judicial review claim brought by a local resident over planning permission granted to the client.
  • Acted for LiveWest Homes on the purchase of 684 units at North Yate, advising on all planning and real estate matters.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP¬†handles commercial landlord and tenant matters, property development and investment, professional negligence claims and claims for breaches of banking covenants relating to property. Its team is also experienced in leasehold enfranchisement matters, mortgage repossessions and restructuring claims. ‚ÄėExperienced‚Äô practice head Sian Gibbon¬†acts for both commercial and public sector clients. Robert Horsey¬†is recommended for his work on contentious trust and probate disputes.

Practice head(s):Sian Gibbon

Other key lawyers:Robert Horsey

Testimonials

'The team is able to deal comprehensively with any type of dispute that may come up in this sector'

'Robert Horsey should be greatly valued for his ability to see the bigger picture and to sympathetically deal with all parties during negotiations'

Key Clients

Biffa Waste Services

Penhaligon's

Wainhomes (South West) Holdings

Persimmon Homes

Majestic Wine Warehouses

Lloyds Banking Group

Strongvox

Exeter City Council

Eagle One

Work highlights

  • Acting for a property developer in relation to the removal of telecommunications apparatus currently occupying a development site.
  • Acting for a serviced office provider in relation to the lease of a high-profile property in Central London.
  • Assisted a commercial property developer with obtaining an urgent possession order against squatters in a large commercial property in South London.
  • Acting for London boroughs in all non-routine litigation matters including residential possession actions, leasehold matters, homelessness reviews, disrepair claims, judicial reviews, commercial lease disputes, and others.
  • Assisted Strongvox with a high-value dispute regarding a development agreement.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

At Ashfords LLP, the ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô social housing team handles both contentious and non-contentious work for large registered providers, housing associations and local authorities. In 2018, the firm strengthened its social housing offering by hiring practice co-head Paul Butterworth, associate Isabelle Clement¬†and legal director Derek Moore, who all joined from TLT. Butterworth specialises in property and development work in the social housing sector, which is also an area of focus for Exeter-based Tim Heal. Led by Sian Gibbon, the practice also has a strength in housing litigation and tenancy management. Elizabeth Gibson¬†advises on procurement and planning. Associate Marjorie Hill¬†is recommended for contentious matters.

Practice head(s):Sian Gibbon; Paul Butterworth; Tim Heal

Other key lawyers:Isabelle Clement; Elizabeth Gibson; Marjorie Hill

Testimonials

Ashfords’ team stands out due to its strength and depth of knowledge

You rarely need to leave a message, as someone is always there and ready to assist you with advice

A highly committed, reliable and experienced team which provides excellent services

This is the go-to firm for landlord and tenant, social housing and leasehold disputes

'Sian Gibbon provides the team with expert leadership'

'Marjorie Hill and Sian Gibbon are always friendly and dedicated to provide high-level assistance at all times'

'Isabelle Clement is very thorough and knowledgeable'

Key Clients

Sovereign Housing Association

LiveWest Homes

The Guinness Partnership

Evolve Housing and Support

Cornerstone Housing

London Borough of Wandsworth

St. Mungo's Community Housing Association

HFL Group

Brick by Brick Croydon

Aster Group

Homes England

Curo

Work highlights

  • Acting for The Guinness Partnership on a highly complex housing possession matter involving capacity issues on the part of the tenant.
  • Assisting The London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond with multiple non-routine litigation matters.
  • Acting for LiveWest Homes on the purchase and the development of section 106 affordable housing at North Yate.   
  • Advising Brick by Brick Croydon on a development programme, including approximately 40 schemes aiming to deliver 1,400 housing units over the next few years.
  • Assisting HFL Group with a full range of services including an application to become a registered provider, among other matters.
Leading individuals

Paul Butterworth - Ashfords LLP

Rising stars

Isabelle Clement - Ashfords LLP

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP handles a wide range of work both within and outside of the South West region. It has particular expertise in national projects, data protection, software development, payment services technology, and SaaS products and deployment to cloud-based infrastructure. It also assists fast-growing start-up businesses with strategic issues and legal due diligence, and has recently launched an online platform to support private clients with non-contentious legal advice. Team head Chris Dyson acts for clients such as regional businesses, national technology investors and global funds. Senior associate Suzie Miles specialises in IT transformation, outsourcing and software licensing.

Practice head(s):Chris Dyson

Other key lawyers:Andy Braithwaite; Gary Mackay; Rory Suggett; Suzie Miles

Testimonials

'Strength and depth, and an emphasis on client service'

'Andy Braithwaite is peerless, and manages expectations very well'

'Andy is savvy with his use of time, and uses it well for the client's benefit'

'I wouldn't want to deal with another firm'

'Charlotte Smith knows what she's doing'

'Chris Dyson gets the key matters quickly and understands what needs to be done to ensure progress is made'

Key Clients

Xylem Inc

CreditCall Limited

Holloway Friendly - The Original Holloway Friendly Society Limited

FireAngel Safety Technology Limited

Notion Capital

Altus Limited

Form3 (Back Office Technology Limited)

BGF Ventures

Post Office Limited

HelloFresh (Grocery Delivery E-Services UK Ltd)

Work highlights

  • Advised CreditCall Limited on payment solutions services, payment gateway services and licensing arrangements.
  • Advised Notion Capital Partners LLP, Eden Ventures Limited and BGF Ventures LP on the sale of cloud service company NewVoiceMedia to Vonage.
  • Negotiated and drafted commercial agreements on behalf of Back Office Technology Limited (Form3) for partnership with third parties to provide financial services IT infrastructure.
Rising stars

Suzie Miles - Ashfords LLP

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has a highly reputed trade mark capability and its sizeable team manages the worldwide portfolios of clients such as Penhaligon's, Princess Yachts and Majestic Wine. The firm fields three chartered trade mark attorneys, and has increased the number of filings it handles year on year. Practice head Mark Lomas, who specialises in the commercial exploitation of IP rights on an international scale, focuses on the luxury retail goods and medical devices sectors. Team head Carl Steele works alongside Lomas in the retail goods sector.

Practice head(s):Mark Lomas

Other key lawyers:Carl Steele

Testimonials

'Very responsive and technically a very proficient team of lawyers'

'Always confident that they will provide the correct legal advice, which doesn't always happen with lawyers'

'Carl Steele really knows his stuff and is responsive'

'They are very responsive and always suggesting solutions and strategies'

'All the lawyers share their knowledge'

Key Clients

Penhaligon's

Velcro BVBA

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Ginsters

Majestic Wine

J W Anderson

BlackRock

Post Office

Princess Yachts

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Roald Dahl Story Company in IP enforcement procedures, most notably in respect of High Court proceedings against Oakwood Leisure Limited for alleged infringement.
  • Acting for Velcro BVBA in pursuit of various infringements, especially concerning online retailers.
  • Acting for BlackRock in respect of an EU trade mark dispute concerning the client's recognised ISHARES trade mark.
  • Successfully assisted the Post Office with registering a new trade mark, which came up against opposition from 'LINK' regarding alleged infringements.
  • Advising Swallowfield PLC on the purchase of IP rights from a foreign brand and subsequent transfer of the brand to the client's portfolio.
Leading individuals

Carl Steele - Ashfords LLP

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's media and entertainment practice works with a number of household name clients on matters concerning TV production contracts, advertising technology, rights exploitation and data protection. The firm also represents clients in disputes. In addition to acting for media sector clients in Bristol and the South West, the team also advises household name clients on projects outside of the region. Plymouth-based Tom Phipps brings his IP expertise to bear in the areas of copyright and franchising.

Practice head(s):Tom Phipps

Key Clients

Historic England

Institute of Physics Publishing

TRP Research Limited

Workbooks Online Limited

Guardian News and Media Limited

Ginsters

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Claire Warner

HelloFresh

Historic England

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

Horse racing and regulatory work are notable strengths at Ashfords LLP, whose practice is led by Rory Mac Neice (who was a former jockey himself). In addition, the teams acts for clients in relation to other sports, such as football and golf. Its varied expertise includes commercial agreements, sport-related taxation disputes, brand management and corporate transactions. Andy Braithwaite has a wealth of experience advising sporting governing bodies and sport property owners on contractual agreements for events and sponsorship, among other matters.

Practice head(s):Rory Mac Neice

Other key lawyers:Andy Braithwaite; Stephen Moore; Graham Cridland; Andrew Rothwell; Joanne Saye

Key Clients

The Professional Golfers’ Association

Exeter City Football Club

The Professional Jockeys Association Limited

London Borough of Brent

The Racecourse Association Limited

The British Show Horse Association Limited

The British Harness Racing Club Limited

Ascot Racecourse Limited

Sam Twiston-Davies

Paul Nicholls - Champion racehorse trainer

Hayley Turner - leading female jockey

Jamie Moore

Silvestre De Sousa - Champion jockey

Work highlights

  • Acted for National Hunt jockey Sam Twiston-Davies in a successful appeal against the decision of the Cheltenham stewards to fine him for not parading the well-known horse Politologue before the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
  • Represented professional jockey Robert Winston in a successful appeal against a finding of careless riding at a major race meeting.
  • Advise the PGA in relation to various matters arising under internal regulations, as well as its Benevolent Fund.
  • Acted for London Borough of Brent to enable Tottenham Hospur to remain at Wembley Stadium for a further season.
  • Advising Exeter City Football Club on property matters relating to a lease and envisaged construction of stadium improvements.

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South West: Transport

Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 1

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP, which undertakes the full range of shipping and marine regulatory work, regularly acts for clients in the fishing industry, shipowners, and port and harbour authorities. It also generates work from national and international banks. Specialisms of the practice include high-value demurrage and delay claims, ship sale and purchase disputes, cargo claims and marine licensing. Other work includes vessel refinancings and purchases. Charles Hattersley leads the team.

Practice head(s):Charles Hattersley

Other key lawyers:Lara Moore; Ieuan Jones

Key Clients

Rowse Fishing Limited

Castle Air Limited

Roger B Klyne

Metmar Denizcilik Sanayi Ve Ticarat Limited

Littlehampton Harbour Board

Exe Shipping Limited

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (R.N.L.I)

Derek Meredith / Laura D Fishing Limited

Offshore Marine Management Limited

Sea Bunkering Limited

Shoreham Port Authority

Flight4Whitby

Fowey Harbour Authority

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council (Weymouth Harbour)

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Laura D Fishing Limited against 48 counts of allegedly operating illegal fishing gear.
  • Advising the owners of the Bugaled Breizh fishing vessel in all aspects of UK proceedings as part of the overall investigation.
  • Advising Castle Air Limited on a number of high-value sale and purchase agreements for helicopter purchases relating to yacht use.
  • Defending R&E Fish Limited against Marine Management Organisation charges.
  • Assisting Royal National Lifeboat Institution its marine licensing requirements for all existing infrastructure in the UK.
Rising stars

Lara Moore - Ashfords LLP

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Further information on Ashfords LLP

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

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