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Thrings LLP

2 QUEEN SQUARE, BATH, BA1 2HQ, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01225 340000
Fax:
Fax 01225 319735
DX:
8002 BATH
Email:
Web:
www.thrings.com

South West: Corporate and commercial

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

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP’s corporate and M&A department is known for its work regarding mid-market M&A, joint venture agreements, funding and equity investments, restructuring and compliance advice. The Bristol-based practice is headed by Jane Oakland, who in 2016 led a cross-disciplinary team advising a holding company on the sale of an automotive group. Mike Tomlin acted for a shareholder on liability and consideration arrangements in relation to a multimillion-dollar sale and was part of a team led by Bath-based Alex Pyatt advising a Cornwall-based client on investment and shareholder agreements concerning a portfolio of hotels. Pyatt also acted for a Bath-based client in relation to a complex reorganisation and demerger. Elaine Meyrick is also recommended.

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Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP (Bath, Swindon)

Thrings LLP’s corporate department is well known for its work for corporates and owner-managed businesses in the healthcare, financial services and engineering and aerospace sectors. The team, which has experience of third-party funding and highly active in mid-market M&A, is jointly headed by John Davies, who acted for the shareholders of T Brewer & Co on the sale of the business to FTSE-250 company Grafton Group. On the buy-side, Davies advised Procurri UK – a subsidiary of international company DeClout – on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of EAF Supply Chain Holdings. Simon Hore assisted the shareholders of Banks Accountants Limited with its sale to RSM, a global accountancy practice, and advised Wasdell Packaging on its acquisition of Shire Acquisitions UK. Senior partner Jonathan Payne jointly heads the corporate team and advised on a large cross-border share transaction in 2016. Additional clients include Arkell’s Brewery, HSBC, World Fuel Services Europe and Yuasa Battery UK.

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South West: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Bristol
Commercial litigation: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP

According to one client, Thrings LLP β€˜is at the top of its game’ in the Bristol market. The disputes resolution team has a β€˜proven track record in all areas of commercial litigation’, but is especially strong in IP and financial services disputes. Department head Alastair Govier is a β€˜safe pair of hands’ for financial services and pensions litigation and defended Avalon Investment Services in a Β£24m claim for damages relating to the fraudulent conduct of a former manager. He also defended a firm of investment advisers in relation to multiple separate claims concerning SIPPs and unregulated overseas property investments. The β€˜calm and commercially minded’ Megan Jefferies made partner in 2016 and specialises in IP disputes. Jefferies worked alongside Mark Cullingford in relation to a complex cross-border IP and shareholder dispute. Also recommended are Steve McCombe, who handles construction and engineering disputes, and Alex Madden, who specialises in judicial reviews and environment disputes.

Next generation lawyers

Megan Jefferies - Thrings LLP

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Commercial litigation: M4 corridor and Gloucestershire
Commercial litigation: M4 corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP (Swindon)

Thrings LLP β€˜has an excellent litigation practice capable of offering City-standard litigation at regional prices’. The department is β€˜particularly recommended for fraud cases’; the β€˜commercially prudent’ Ramona Derbyshire and Joanna Apperley successfully defended a complex fraud claim relating to a family partnership business. In 2016, the team recruited Caroline Watson from Gardner Leader LLP, who is a β€˜very impressive’ partner with experience of commercial litigation and ADR. She is defending a borrower client in relation to a substantial claim by its mezzanine lender alleging breaches of a loan agreement. David Patterson heads the group and is representing an HGV manufacturer in a Β£25m claim arising out of a vehicle fire and alleged defects with the vehicle in question. Patterson is also acting for a multinational consumer goods company in a contractual dispute with an Eastern European supplier of raw materials.

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South West: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP (Bristol)

The β€˜approachable and knowledgeable’ lawyers at Thrings LLP act primarily for lender clients but also act for borrowers in relation to refinancing and investment rounds. Mike Tomlin co-heads the practice and advised a borrower client on the high-value refinancing of senior and mezzanine facilities in connection with a property portfolio. Tomlin also assisted a communications company with the documentation concerning several investment rounds involving debt and equity investments. Simon Hore advised HSBC Bank on a Β£7m revolving credit facility with a leading national retailer. The team also acted for NatWest on a Β£2m loan to an operator in the commercial investor sector. Other high street bank clients include Santander UK, RBS, HSBC and Allied Irish Bank. Joint practice head John Davies specialises in commercial banking and investment and is responsible for maintaining the firm’s many bank panel relationships.

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

Thrings LLP (Bristol)

The β€˜reassuringly professional and effective’ insolvency practice at Thrings LLP specialises in acting in relation to insolvent or distressed mid-sized owner-managed businesses and is particularly strong in the professional services and agriculture sectors. Praised for his β€˜technical expertise’ Mark Cullingford advised a Swedish foodstuffs producer on the recovery of debt from its UK distributor and on the protection of its interest in branded stock held in the UK. On the contentious side, the β€˜calm and experienced’ Melissa George acted for Begbies Traynor as administrators in claims against a bank for mis-selling interest rate hedging products, alleging that had the mis-selling not occurred, the LLP in question would have avoided administration. Nicola Brastock is a β€˜clear and tenacious’ associate with a decade of experience in both commercial and personal insolvency matters. Other notable clients include PwC, Grant Thornton, Mazars and Leonard Curtis business Solutions.

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South West: Human resources

Employment: Bristol
Employment: Bristol - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP

Thrings LLP is renowned for providing a very good level of service and β€˜building good relationships with clients’. The team advises on contentious tribunal and High Court claims, provides strategic advice on the management and restructuring of companies, including high-value mergers, offers corporate support on the employment aspects of sales and acquisitions of companies, and has handled high-profile sensitive cases relating to gangmasters licensing as well as offences under the Modern Slavery Act. Particular areas of strength are discrimination claims, claims for injunctive relief in regard to team moves, board-level exit strategies, TUPE, and collective redundancies. Expertise also covers business immigration and employee relations. The practice has an online HR consultancy service. Practice head Kerrie Hunt has experience in handling unfair dismissal claims as well as disability discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims, and claims related to dismissal due to pregnancy or maternity. AirTanker Services, Dynamatic Limited UK, Centurycomm and Denhay Farms.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 1

Thrings LLP (Bath, Bristol, Swindon)

Thrings LLP is β€˜one of the leading agricultural firms nationally with an excellent team that excels in handling Agricultural Holdings Act and proprietary estoppel issues’. The practice has β€˜excellent knowledge, providing considered and appropriate advice’, β€˜working very well together at the partner, solicitor and administrative levels’. Bath-based practice head Duncan Sigournay successfully acted for an agricultural tenant whose tenancy is protected by the Agriculture Holdings Act 1986 in an eviction dispute against the landlord. Neil Barbour is assisting several major UK banks with secured lending transactions including the provision of a loan to a trust to facilitate the purchase of a farm and the purchase of a Β£20m farming and sporting estate which has historic significance. Bristol-based Russell Reeves, β€˜a tough litigator with excellent client care abilities’, handled a multimillion-pound farm partnership dispute and represented EU Plants in an agricultural rights of way dispute against the neighbouring farm. Associate Robert James, who focuses on contentious agricultural matters, is β€˜thorough, hardworking and with a clear appreciation of the important points’. National Farmers Union (NFU), The Badminton Estate, Country Land and Business Association and Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal Trust are other clients of the group.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP (Bath, Bristol, Swindon)

Thrings LLP provides β€˜a reassuringly thorough standard of representation and a guaranteed level of quality of advice’. The team is β€˜very experienced’ in handling high-net-worth matrimonial finance cases involving substantial assets as well as matters relating to international child abduction under the 1966 Hague Convention, leave to remove from jurisdiction and Section 8 of the Children Act. Team head Fiona Kellow has expertise in both litigated and collaborative matters. Matthew Kellow advises on matrimonial finance and private law children matters, with expertise in matters involving the Court of Protection. Kellow is β€˜sympathetic but always realistic’, β€˜always appearing reassuring and inspiring the client’s loyalty, whilst at the same time being a tough and robust litigator when required’. Associate Victoria Barnett β€˜always thinks of her clients’ and β€˜appreciates the myriad emotions and difficulties that they are going through as well as their involvement in the legal process’. Samantha Newton and Anna Patterson are β€˜exceptionally hard working’. The team lost family law specialist James Myatt who joined Gregg Latchams LLP in January 2017. Individuals mentioned above are based in Bath and Swindon.

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

Thrings LLP (Bath, Swindon)

Thrings LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals, including farm and business owners, landed estates, and vulnerable individuals. The team advises on high-end tax and wealth planning, including the management and mitigation of liability to inheritance and capital gains tax. Key names to note include Bath-based Michael Young, Ann Carlton and Elizabeth Evans.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: Bristol
Commercial property: Bristol - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP

The Bristol property team at Thrings LLP has a β€˜broad spread of skills and knowledge’ and is especially strong in residential development, corporate occupier and investment work and portfolio management in the retail and leisure sectors. The group also acts for a number of high street lenders on secured lending transactions. The team was significantly strengthened in 2016 with the arrival of Ben Tarrant, who joined from TLT and specialises in portfolio management and transactional work for retail and leisure clients. Steve Schofield, who made partner in 2016, is acting for Allied Irish Bank in relation to a multimillion-pound financing of a holiday home development in St Ives. The β€˜approachable and knowledgeable’ Colin Stratton heads the practice and is assisting Newlands Homes Limited with a Β£12m acquisition of a site to provide 35 high-value dwellings in Toddington. David Mears acted for Renrod Motor Group on a multimillion-pound sale of the business and property assets of an auto-dealer. Real estate investment specialist Ben Jones is also recommended.

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Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 1

Thrings LLP (Bath, Swindon)

Thrings LLP’s commercial property group handles landlord and tenant issues and transactional matters involving pension funds, but is particularly well known for advising landowners and landed estates in strategic land and options agreements. Alan Goulding and Edward Jackman are noted experts in negotiating options and promotion agreements for potential land development; Jackman acts for various landowning clients on land sales and option agreements with residential developers. Specialising in pension fund property and real estate investment, practice co-head Alex Pinhey acted for pension fund clients on several multimillion-pound property purchases as well as a refinancing of multiple London-based retail and restaurant units. Charlotte Barrett focuses on portfolio management and secured lending work for corporate occupiers. The group also has capabilities in renewable energy related property work through associate Iain Mason. Although based primarily in Bristol, Warren Reid works across all of the firm’s regional offices and jointly heads the property team along with Pinhey.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP (Bristol)

The construction group at Thrings LLP is noted for providing development advice to clients in the healthcare and retail and leisure sectors, and is especially active in the student accommodation space. In addition to development work, the team also handles construction disputes and provides procurement advice to utilities companies and corporate occupiers. Practice head Eric Livingston is acting for Fusion Students on the demolition of existing structures and the subsequent development of large student accommodation facilities in Cardiff and Nottingham. He also acted alongside associate Natalia Sokolov for Alford Technologies on a multimillion-pound contract to demolish Didcot (A) Power Station Boiler House in Wiltshire. The team is also advising a US-headquartered law firm in relation to the UK construction aspects and due diligence of the acquisition of a care home portfolio by an American REIT. Steve McCombe is rated for his β€˜precision’ in handling construction disputes. Other clients include Wessex Water, Bristol Water and Chait Investment Corporation.

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP (Bath, Bristol)

The planning and environment department at Thrings LLP provides regulatory compliance advice to clients in the public and private sectors and also handles Environment Agency prosecutions. Alex Madden has been acting for a UK manufacturer in relation to a potential prosecution regarding water pollution, and advised a client involved in the waste management sector on the environmental restrictions and obligations in connection with a water supply development. The team is also acting for Bereleigh Estate in relation to potential proceedings being brought under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 regarding noise pollution from game and clay pigeon shooting. Associate Rosalyn Trotman is also recommended.

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP (Bath, Bristol, Swindon)

Thrings LLP’s β€˜knowledgeable and effective’ planning department has experience of contentious and non-contentious planning issues, acting for both individuals and corporates. Headed by Alex Madden, the department has been especially active in the residential and commercial development space. Madden is advising Cherry Tree Farm Campsite on its planning position in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, following an investigation by North Devon Council. The team also advised Aggregate Industries UK on the section 106 agreements in connection with an extension to a sand and gravel quarry in Gloucestershire. On the contentious side, Madden represented a landowner client in a High Court matter concerning a disputes planning permission for the construction of a wind turbine. The β€˜pleasant and professional’ Rosalyn Trotman is also recommended.

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Thrings LLP (Bristol, Swindon)

Thrings LLP’s property litigation team handles commercial tenancy work in relation to corporate portfolio management and also acts for occupiers and landlords in matters such as enfranchisement and dilapidations. Department head Warren Reid acts on portfolio management and property disputes, including boundary issues, and advised on a range of contentious lease renewals in 2016 and 2017. Reid also provides ongoing lease and tenant advice to Waitrose, Countrywide Estate Agents and Matchesfashion.com. Michael Tatters assisted a client with a long licence dispute concerning the use of a car park and negotiated a lease agreement with a landlord and co-tenant following court proceedings brought by the co-tenant, which was seeking to sell the entire leasehold. Gemma Featonby also recommended.

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 4

Thrings LLP (Bristol)

Thrings LLP predominantly advises mid-sized technology suppliers and users, and has particular experience of advising owner-managed businesses including Safelink Data Rooms, TrueSpeed Communications and Winscribe. Recent instructions include assisting FF Group with establishing its new e-commerce platform with Demandware, a US-based supplier, and advising Altus, a fintech products and IT consultancy, on master services agreements with a number of large financial institutions. Key names to note in the team include Alastair Govier, who handles technology disputes, and associate Brett Lambe. Andy Braithwaite left for Ashfords LLP in April 2017.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Thrings LLP (Bristol, Swindon)

Thrings LLP is β€˜one of the best firms in the South West for IP disputes’ according to one client, fielding β€˜an extremely knowledgeable team which provides a first-class service’. Practice head Graeme Fearon continues to advise Lovehoney Group on its global IP strategy, which includes handling multiple parallel patent, design, trade mark and copyright registration applications, oppositions, invalidity and enforcement proceedings, as well as assisting with the IP aspects of acquisitions. The team also represented Kenro in a dispute regarding alleged patent infringement relating to the camera microphone mountings owned by Rycote Microphone Windshields, and is assisting Brick Lane Bikes with trade mark registration in China, the EU and the US. Commercial and IP litigator Megan Jefferies has β€˜a great level of knowledge about proceedings at the EUIPO’ and is β€˜extremely calm, precise, efficient and commercially minded’. Andy Braithwaite joined Ashfords LLP.

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Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 2

Thrings LLP (Bristol)

At Thrings LLP , Graeme Fearon handled a sponsorship dispute, assisted with a film piracy claim and advised an author and editor on negotiations with Cambridge University Press for revisions to a series of study guides, including advising on copyright, moral rights and royalties. Other clients include Bristol Media, Pendennis Productions, Silver Bullet Entertainment and Bristol Film Festival. Mike Tomlin has particular experience in the publishing sector.

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