The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Ashfords LLP

Work 020 7544 2424

London: Corporate and commercial

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

South west-based Ashfords LLP's 'strong partner-led team' handles corporate work from its London, Bristol and Exeter offices, acting for local, national and international clients. Matters are regularly cross-border, facilitated through the firm's network of international alliances. The team has notable expertise in the technology sector, primarily driven from the Bristol office, as well as venture capital, private equity, management buy outs, corporate restructurings and governance matters and financial services sector experience. Exeter-based Andrew Betteridge heads the corporate practice, while Giles Hawkins is the key name in the London office.

Practice head(s):Andrew Betteridge

Other key lawyers:Giles Hawkins; Chris Dyson; Louise Workman


'Strong partner led team. with experienced lawyers who give practical advice'

'Very experienced and versed in all aspects of a start-up acquisition process, a good mix of expertise and great all-around service'

'Simon Rous and Stuart Fleet are both experienced and very easy to deal with. Both have excellent technical and communication skills'

'Giles Hawkins always finds a solution to the most complex problems, and is super experienced with different approaches in our industry'

'Chris Dyson offers an excellent balance of legal knowledge and commercial acumen'

'Associate Ross Van de Welde undertook the day-to-day aspects of our transaction with efficiency and excellent communication'

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of Kopernio on the sale of the entire issued share capital of Kopernio to Camelot UK Bidco Limited (Clarivate Analytics).
  • Advised Bluestream Trading Co on the acquisition of Serpentine Park.
  • Advised venture capital funds Notion Capital, Eden Ventures and BGF Ventures on the sale of cloud service company NewVoiceMedia (NVM) to New York Stock Exchange-listed Vonage.
  • Advised Holtzbrinck Ventures, Frog Capital and Notion Capital on the sale of Dealflo Limited to VASCO Data Security Inc (OneSpan).
  • Acted for TLH Bidco on the purchase of the entire issued share capital of Torquay Leisure Hotels .

[back to top]

Venture capital
Venture capital - ranked: tier 3

Ashfords LLP

With six partners focused on venture capital matters, primarily out of the firm's Bristol headquarters, Ashfords LLP is well placed to handle work for an impressive roster of investor clients engaged in financings across the investment lifecycle within the technology sector. Able to draw from a vast pool of transactional experience, co-heads Chris Dyson and Andrew Betteridge are regularly engaged in the most significant mandates handled by the team, including regular mandates for national and international funds in large-scale syndicated investment rounds. The heavily investor-leaning practice of Dyson and Betteridge is now balanced with the company-side practice of London-based partner Giles Hawkins, who has effectively built up this aspect of the practice following his arrival in 2016 from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP. Jocelyn Ormond joined the team from Simmons & Simmons in November 2019.

Practice head(s):Chris Dyson; Andrew Betteridge

Other key lawyers:Giles Hawkins; Rory Suggett; Ross van de Velde


'The team is particularly strong at handling early-stage investments.'

'The outstanding Jocelyn Ormond has the ability to cut straight to the solution rather than dwelling on a problem.'

Key Clients


Episode One Ventures


Notion Capital

WhiteHat Group



Mush Limited

Local Globe

Frog Capital

Oxford Capital Partners

Guinness Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Notion Capital, Eden Ventures and BGF Ventures on the $350m sale of cloud service company NewVoiceMedia to New York Stock Exchange-listed Vonage.
  • Advising BGF Investment on a £3m investment in Ruroc Global Holdings and an associated purchase of certain shares from individual shareholders.
  • Advised Whitehat Group Limited on its Series A $4m investment by Silicon Valley investor Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Village Global, ShopTalk and Money 20/20 founder Anil Aggarwal, and British tech entrepreneur Wendy Tan White.
  • Advising Oxford Capital Partners on a seed investment round in Juggle Jobs Limited.
  • Advising Eden Ventures (UK) Limited, Notion Capital Partners 2 LLP & MMC Ventures Limited on an investment round in Brightpearl Limited.
Leading individuals

Andrew Betteridge - Ashfords LLP

Chris Dyson - Ashfords LLP

[back to top]

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 7

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP is 'an impressive outfit that provides a streamlined, high- quality commercial litigation service for clients'. The practice handles disputes involving contracts, partnerships, company directors, share and asset purchase agreements, freezing injunctions, debt recovery, and cross border disputes. James Crighton is an experienced partner, and Bristol-based Rory Mac Neice specialises in disputes in the technology and sports sectors.

Practice head(s):James Crighton; Rory Mac Neice


'Ashfords benefits from having quality people throughout all levels of the team - there are no weak links'.

'The extremely commercial James Crighton is someone clients want on their side'.

Key Clients

Saatchi Gallery

Douglas and Gordon

nGage Specialist Recruitment

Paul E Schweder Miller & Co

BM Advisory

Work highlights

  • Acted for the claimant in an Insolvency Act claim, which included the successful resistance of a strike out application.

[back to top]

London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 5

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP acts for a significant number of third sector organisations on a broad range of issues including reputational management matters. John Toth co-heads the team and advises on various regulatory and governance issues for charities. Toth routinely advises new charities on their incorporation as entities or trusts and on community interest companies. Kerry Morgan-Gould is the joint head and advises household named charities on a broad range of contentious legacy issues.

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

Other key lawyers:Barny Croft; Lara Moore


'An absolute commitment and devotion to their clients' interests, aligning the firm with the client rather than the other way around. A friendly and easily-approachable ethos, but backed up by the highest standards of service delivery'.

'John Toth brings a wealth of experience and an extremely safe pair of hands to the team, engendering total and justified confidence in his clients'.

'Kerry Morgan-Gould is a hugely able and unflappable performer who can effortlessly carry the heaviest case-load, and keep delivering the performance which brings her clients back again and again'.

'Kerry Morgan-Gould is an exemplary contentious probate professional. She gave us sound advice and kept us up-to-date throughout the matter, protecting our charity's interests and ensuring we got the best possible outcome'.

'Barny Croft is strong on the contentious and potentially contentious side'.

'Barny Croft is excellent with clients (particularity difficult ones),  manages expectations and really knows his stuff'.

'Lara Moore is excellent at explaining complex issues in lay terms and providing an analysis of all the different options available to us in a given case. We particularly appreciate that she provides real advice on what our best option is rather than just providing an analysis of the various options'.

Key Clients

Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust

The Eggbeer Trust

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust

A national charity

Work highlights

  • Provided planning and property development advice to a charity client.
  • Providing strategic advice on restructuring, property acquisition and granting of tenancies and licences over a charity owned property.
  • Advising on marine licensing  to its charity client.
  • Providing a strategic oversight of a charity's activities in relation to the Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust.
  • Advised a national charity on a legacy challenge on grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, and undue influence.

[back to top]

London: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 2

Ashfords LLP

A substantial group at Ashfords LLP provides multi-disciplinary services to local authorities in London and elsewhere, many of whom are long-standing clients, and it is on a large number of panels. In addition to housing, regeneration and IT projects, it provides expertise on areas ranging from governance and state aid to corporate matters and civil and criminal disputes. Elizabeth Gibson heads the services and Paul Butterworth provides expertise on complex regeneration and development projects, social housing and public finance. Senior associate Lucy Woods assists local authorities and central government departments on various corporate and outsourcing projects and Andrew Rothwell is highly rated for his real estate advice.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Gibson

Other key lawyers:Paul Butterworth; Lucy Woods; Andrew Rothwell


'Andrew Rothwell is exceptional - an excellent understanding of local government, creative in identifying solutions to challenging legal issues, with a calm and reassuring demeanour.'

Key Clients

HFL Group Limited

Brick by Brick Croydon Limited

Wandsworth Borough Council

London Borough of Newham

London Borough of Hackney

Exeter City Council

Council of the Isles of Scilly

Cornwall Council

Work highlights

  • Advising HFL, established by the London Borough of Lambeth as the 'Homes for Lambeth' housing delivery venture. The advice includes social housing, commercial contracts, property and planning, and corporate governance matters.
  • Advising Brick by Brick (Croydon) Limited, a wholly owned company of Croydon Borough Council, on a range of matters relating to 40 schemes, aiming to deliver 1,400 housing units.
  • Continuing to provide legal services to Wandsworth and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (with which Wandsworth has been sharing services) on a broad range of matters including housing, procurement, planning and civil and criminal disputes.
  • Providing a multi-disciplinary service to the London Borough of Newham in respect of its various corporate outsourcing projects, involving the outsourcing of a vast range of services from providing school meals to core facilities.
  • Assisting the London Borough of Hackney with its Britannia Project which is a large mixed-use social infrastructure development  and includes plans for a new leisure centre and school, as well as residential developments (both social and private market) and associated infrastructure and public realm works. The project is valued at £360m.

[back to top]

London: Real estate

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP covers contentious commercial landlord and tenant matters, including lease renewals, exercise of break notices and dilapidation claims, alongside development and investment-related disputes, such as restrictive covenants, rights to light and party wall disputes. Other areas of expertise include assisting landlords with issues arising from CVAs and high-value residential property matters.


'The team provides a top notch level of client service at fair prices.'

Key Clients

Maxwells Group

Shoreditch Bar Group

Harvey White Properties

Launcelot Investments (UK)

Douglas & Gordon

Eggar Forrester Group

11-13 Randolph Crescent

Hammersmith Estates

Work highlights

  • Assisted 11 - 13 Randolph Crescent with Court of Appeal proceedings pertaining to the interpretation of a covenants provision in a residential lease.
  • Acting for the tenant, a hospitality chain, in lease renewal proceedings opposed by an institutional London landlord.

[back to top]

Social housing: local authorities and registered providers
Social housing: local authorities and registered providers - ranked: tier 5

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP demonstrates strong capabilities in the contentious and non-contentious aspects of social housing. The success of the firm's practice is evidenced by the fact that it acts for some of the largest social landlords in the country, as well as numerous London Boroughs and other local authorities. Its team includes Sian Gibbon and legal director Joanne Young, who are among a number of individuals with experience advising social landlords on housing litigation and tenancy management; the scope of their contentious work includes cases involving anti-social behaviour, disrepair claims and EPA claims, and homelessness reviews. Tim Heal and Michael Gay are active in property and development work, and their experience covers matters such as construction, site purchases and shared ownership. Elizabeth Gibson heads a team that assists public and quasi-public sector clients with public procurement and planning issues connected with residential-led developments. Vanessa James is an expert in employment law and data protection, while Patrick Blake is the head of construction.

Practice head(s):Sian Gibbon; Tim Heal

Other key lawyers:Michael Gay; Elizabeth Gibson; Vanessa James; Patrick Blake; Joanne Young

Key Clients

Southern Housing Group Limited

Knightstone Housing Association Limited

The Guinness Partnership Limited

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Evolve Housing & Support

London Borough of Croydon

Cornerstone Housing

London Borough of Wandsworth

[back to top]

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
PATMA: Trade mark attorneys - ranked: tier 4

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has continued the expansion of its UK trade mark filing practice and is able to assist with the full range of trade mark prosecution services. Experienced in the management of often global trade mark portfolios for international corporations, the group is also well versed in trade mark litigation as practice head Carl Steele, who splits his time between the London, Exeter and Bristol offices, is dual-qualified as a solicitor and a trade mark attorney.

Practice head(s):Carl Steele

Key Clients


J W Anderson

Jennifer Chamandi

L’artisan Parfumeur

Pedigree Group


Princess Yachts

Swallowfield PLC and The Brand Architekts

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Velcro  BVBA

Work highlights

  • Assisted multiple clients (Penhaligon's, L'artisan Parfumeur, BlackRock, Roald Dahl Story Company, Post Office, Princess Yachts, Timothy Everest, Majestic Wines, Naked Wines and Lay & Wheeler) with the management of their worldwide trade mark portfolios, ranging from clearance projects to enforcement and including the negotiation of licence agreements and assignments.
  • Successfully acted for BlackRock in a trade mark dispute arising from a third party's plan to register an EU trade mark that risked infringing one of the client's core trade marks, ultimately negotiating a favourable settlement for the client.
  • Successfully defended OFO against opposition and invalidation proceedings brought by Nokia against a UK trade mark application filed by the client, involving a hearing before the UKIPO.
  • Successfully obtained registration of two UK trade marks for Post Office after a third party had filed oppositions against them.
  • Assisted Swallowfield PLC with the transfer of the rights protecting the brand 'Fish' after the client purchased the 'Fish' branded male haircare business from KMI Brands Limited, including coordination of the recordal of the assignment with trade mark registers and intellectual property offices worldwide.

[back to top]

Further information on Ashfords LLP

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


Offices in London

South West

Offices in Bristol, Taunton, Tiverton, Exeter, and Plymouth

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to