The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Bircham Dyson Bell

50 BROADWAY, LONDON, SW1H 0BL, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7227 7000
Fax:
Fax 020 7222 3480
DX:
2317 VICTORIA
Email:
Web:
www.bdb-law.co.uk
Cambridge, London

London: Corporate and commercial

Commercial contracts
Commercial contracts - ranked: tier 6

Bircham Dyson Bell

Philip Lamb leads Bircham Dyson Bell's team, which assists clients with a wide range of commercial and technology agreements. The group includes Hollie Gallagher, whose expertise includes outsourcing contracts, agency and distribution agreements, standard terms and conditions for the sale and supply of goods and/or services (including online), and joint venture agreements. The firm acts for a particularly significant number of organisations in the healthcare sector, such as CIS Healthcare Limited, Immupharma Plc and Health Services Laboratories LLP. Other clients of the practice include charities, local authorities and local authorities. Paul Voller and Penny Bygraves  recently departed for VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards).

[back to top]

M&A: smaller deals up to £50m
M&A: smaller deals up to £50m - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

The practice at Bircham Dyson Bell is led by Nick McCarthy, who had an active year: he acted for longstanding client The Childcare Corporation on the company’s £36m acquisition by scheme of arrangement, advised Harwood on its investment into Inspecs Holdings, advised FIH Group on a recommended takeover and hostile approach, and acted for the management of Mintec in relation to the management buyout by private equity fund Synova. In addition, Philip Lamb advised Claranet on its acquisition of Sec-1 Holdings and acted for NYSE-listed Ecolab on the acquisition of London & General Packaging, alongside senior associate Andrew McGlashan. The team was also bolstered by the arrival of senior associates Tessa Trevelyan Thomas from Clifford Chance LLP and Robert Chidley from DLA Piper, as well as associate Annabel Doneley from Clayton Utz in Australia. Other key clients include Smurfit Kappa and Westchester House Nursery Schools.

[back to top]

London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers and senior executives - ranked: tier 6

Bircham Dyson Bell

Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

Jesper Christensen leads the team at Bircham Dyson Bell, which is 'a key name in the charity sector' and provides 'commercially sound advice that has been thoroughly thought through and considered from all angles'. With expertise acting for employers and senior executives, recent mandates include representing The Doctors' Laboratory in claims relating to the employment status of its internal courier team, advising Ten Entertainment Group on the employment aspects of its IPO on the London Stock Exchange and assisting four individuals in the media and advertising sector with their exits from various employers and the establishment of a new business. The 'highly pragmatic' Caroline Yarrow, Brian Gegg and Nicholas Le Riche are also names to note.

[back to top]

Immigration
Immigration: business - ranked: tier 5

Bircham Dyson Bell

Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell provides ‘prompt, accurate responses’; it has ‘significant experience and is able to provide clear, thorough, and commercially aware advice’ as well as a ‘seamless service’. On the business immigration side, the team acts for start-up companies, medium-sized businesses, charities and international entities. Clients include Inotec AMD, The Power of Nutrition, Adam Smith International, C40 Climate Leadership UK, Applied Blockchain, University of Notre Dame (UK), The Doctors Laboratory and Smurfit Kappa UK. The team also works closely with the firm’s private wealth department and advises domestic and international private clients on a range of immigration issues. Associate Tim Hayes is ‘committed to his clients and is very well organised with an eye for detail’; he handles business immigration matters such as from sponsor licences and global mobility issues. Personal immigration head Alastair Collett advises individuals on estate and tax planning, investors on their entry into the UK, and charities and royal charter corporations on constitutional and governance issues.

[back to top]

London: Private client

Art and cultural property
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 4

Bircham Dyson Bell

The ‘very knowledgeable, experienced and very user-friendly’ Susan Johnson  co-heads the team atBircham Dyson Bell  with the ‘very experienced’ Hugo Smith . Smith acts for a number of clients with large art collections and advises them on the use of structures and tax reliefs to enable collections to be protected for future generations. Team members are ‘professional, fiercely bright and approachable’. Its ‘client list is expanding’ and clients range from individuals, executors and trustees to galleries, art dealers and charities. The team continues to advise its long-standing client the Royal Opera House Covent Garden on various contractual and regulatory matters. Other clients include the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Historic England, the Crossrail Art Foundation and Handel House Trust Limited. Areas of expertise include advising on the formation of charities to hold art and cultural property to make works available for public display. The team also routinely advises on issues such as the sale and purchase of works of art, advises on issues of provenance and intellectual property matters as well as on succession and tax planning matters.

Leading individuals

Hugo Smith - Bircham Dyson Bell

[back to top]

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

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell  has a team that is ‘always available for emergency enquiries and swift in its everyday working responses’. The group has ‘fantastic charity law expertise and a strong and effective relationship with the Charity Commission’. The ‘highly recommended’ Penny Chapman  heads the 13-partner team and is described as ‘the best in the arena and someone who has retained a massive enthusiasm for her job and a complete commitment to her clients. She has a very straightforward style, explains technical issues simply and advises with great integrity and practical judgement’. Jonathan Brinsden is ‘well connected in the not-for-profit sector’. Brinsden and associate Alice Unwin are both ‘very helpful, and knowledgeable’. Simon Weil is ‘highly recommended’ and charities counsel Nicola Evans  is ‘brilliant- she is the person to go to for any niche question on charity law and policy and for general charity know how’. It also continues to provide regular advice to the HALO Trust, one of the world’s leading landmine charities which employs thousands of people across the globe. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Mothers’ Union are other major clients.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Brinsden - Bircham Dyson Bell

Nicola Evans - Bircham Dyson Bell

Penny Chapman - Bircham Dyson Bell

Simon Weil - Bircham Dyson Bell

[back to top]

Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell's team is led by Geoffrey Kertesz, who has ‘excellent people skills and an ability to think outside the box’. Consultant John Darnton  ‘can see cases from every angle and has a great capacity for detail’. Senior associate Lorraine Jeffery  is ‘able to marshal complex facts in a case and then produce a solid analysis of the potential problems’. The practice has a particular focus on disputes that are heard in the English courts but have an offshore dimension. It is also well equipped to handle issues when disputes arise relating to legacies left to charities. Clients include a former trustee of the Savernake Estate.

Leading individuals

Geoffrey Kertesz - Bircham Dyson Bell

Next generation lawyers

Lorraine Jeffery - Bircham Dyson Bell

[back to top]

Court of protection
Court of protection - ranked: tier 3

Bircham Dyson Bell

Alastair Collett  heads the Court of Protection team at Bircham Dyson Bell, which is best known for managing capacity issues for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The group has considerable experience in contested Court of Protection cases and works closely with its litigation colleagues, for example, in bringing and defending objections to enduring/lasting powers of attorney. James Freemantle  is another important member of the team.

[back to top]

Family
Family - ranked: tier 5

Bircham Dyson Bell

Siȃn Jones heads the team at Bircham Dyson Bell and has particular expertise in advising on the financial aspects of international/high-net-worth cases with more than one jurisdiction and for helping clients with complex financial structures. John Darnton excels in financial cases particularly those involving companies and trust structures both onshore and offshore.

[back to top]

Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell's wide-ranging expertise covers work involving old-money, landed estate work to complex international planning for UHNW families. Head of private wealth Simon Weil  is an ‘extremely competent private client lawyer who maintains his professional composure and judgement in the most challenging circumstances’. The ‘very efficient and client orientated’ Helen Ratcliffe  ‘combines a warm personal touch with a sagacity born of her long experience of dealing with wealthy international families’. Other areas of expertise include advising the owners of agricultural land and landed estates as well as philanthropists.

Leading individuals

Helen Ratcliffe - Bircham Dyson Bell

Simon Weil - Bircham Dyson Bell

[back to top]

London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 3

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell is considered to be 'very strong in its specialist areas and especially strong in the healthcare field.' It acts for an array of governmental and local authority bodies, companies and individuals on wide ranging public law advice and judicial reviews. Its work ranges from assisting a head teacher on preparing for an appearance at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to advising the National Grid on defending judicial review challenges and assisting Transport for London and the London Mayor’s office on  charging orders and environmental issues. Matthew Smith and David Mundy are the well respected joint heads of the group and core team members Richard Langley and Helen Fry 'are both very smart, efficient, and wise' according to clients. 

[back to top]

Education: institutions
Education: institutions - ranked: tier 5

Bircham Dyson Bell

Penny Chapman heads the Bircham Dyson Bell charities and social enterprise group, which assists higher education colleges in addition to its extensive roster of schools clients. Chapman advised on the establishment of the Parents' Association of Magdalen College School, Oxford as a separate charity, and is also assisting Eltham College with a refinancing exercise ahead of a redevelopment project. Other team members include Jonathan Fewster, who heads the real estate work, and Jesper Christensen, who focuses on employment matters.

[back to top]

Education: schools
Education: schools - ranked: tier 3

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell stands out for its 'excellent knowledge of charity law and its impact on the independent sector and for its thorough and timely advice'. Practice head Penny Chapman advises independent schools and other charitable education institutions and is 'trusted for her clarity of advice'. Jonathan Fewster, who heads the real estate practice, advises clients such as the Westminster School and Queens College on various property development and leasing matters. In highlight work, it is advising independent Quaker girls' school, The Mount School, on amendments to its constitution, which includes liaising with the Charity Commission. 

[back to top]

Infrastructure (parliamentary)
Infrastructure (parliamentary) - ranked: tier 1

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell's team includes four Roll A parliamentary agents. Clients include Transport for London, London Luton Airport Limited and the National Audit Office. In the past 12 months, the team has acted for a wide range of parties affected by HS2 Phase 2 including BMW, London Zoo and Birmingham City Council. The team has also promoted private bills for the New Southgate Cemetery and the Middle Level Commissioners.  David Mundy  is a ‘shrewd tactician’ and Angus Walker  is ‘highly recommended’. Tom Henderson  and Monika Weglarz  are also names to note.

Leading individuals

Angus Walker - Bircham Dyson Bell

Next generation lawyers

Nick Brown - Bircham Dyson Bell

Nick Evans - Bircham Dyson Bell

Sarah Clark - Bircham Dyson Bell

[back to top]

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell's public law team is lead by David Mundy and Matthew Smith and is noted as 'strong in its specialist areas.' It counts local authorities such as Slough Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council and Bristol Council and the National Audit Office among its clients and covers areas ranging from regulations and health care to the environment.  The team continues to advise East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners in connection with the development of a marina as part of a regeneration of Bridlington harbour.

[back to top]

London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: corporate occupiers - ranked: tier 4

Bircham Dyson Bell

Commercial property: development - ranked: tier 4

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell runs ‘an extremely efficient’ property group, which provides ‘high-quality advice’ on strategic property acquisitions and disposals, and letting agreements. Headed by Jonathan Fewster, the team is split between London and Cambridge and has particular expertise in the charities and not-for-profit sector. Indeed, Fewster advised Institute of Integrated Systematic Therapy on the multimillion-pound sale of a freehold interest of a property in Northamptonshire to a registered charity. The practice head also assisted The American School in England with the lease of a school estate in Thorpe Surrey. In the development space, Ellen James advised Indigoscott Group on the due diligence in connection with its purchase of an office building in Chiswick for the purpose of redevelopment, and also advised the client with its £16m sale of a development site in Balham. Senior associate Sushila Pindoria is ‘an extremely talented property lawyer’.

[back to top]

Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell handles a range of planning issues related to major infrastructure projects. Key figures include Mark Challis, who is ‘calm, thoughtful and careful, always a good person to have on your side’, and Angus Walker, a leading NSIP specialist with extensive experience in hybrid bills. Nick Evans is leading the team advising TFL on all aspects of the authorisation of the Crossrail 2 scheme, including the means whereby it may be authorised, environmental assessment and public consultation. Nick Brown is leading the firm’s third DCO for National Grid, for the construction of a £73m electricity transmission connection between Richborough and Canterbury in Kent for the new UK to Belgium interconnector. Shabana Anwar and Jenny Dorricott advised Lambeth Borough Council on CPO and property advice for three regeneration projects worth £60m, consisting of large affordable housing developments. Also recommended are Tom Henderson and Sarah Clark. Other clients include Highways England, London Luton Airport Limited, Transport for Greater Manchester, Peel Group and the Environment Agency.

Leading individuals

Angus Walker - Bircham Dyson Bell

[back to top]

Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell has a ‘clear, practical approach to resolving disputes’ and ‘looks for practical solutions to the client’s issues’. Simon Painter is ‘approachable with a good knowledge of the law’ and heads the practice which is regarded for its ‘flexibility, thoroughness and customer focus'. Painter recently handled a successful case in which a private individual brought a claim for noise nuisance and breach of covenant against a lessee at a high-value flat in Central London. A further highlight saw the team achieve a favourable outcome for a client involved in a dispute over a polo farm on the periphery of Buenos Aires. The matter was heard in the English courts though applied Argentinian law and pertained to the defendant's failure to transfer the land in question despite signing a contract. The team covers a wide spectrum of work and excels on leasehold enfranchisement, insolvency and professional negligence. Andrew Couch is a key member of the team and is experienced in compensation payments for compulsory purchases and land contamination.

[back to top]

Residential property
Residential property - ranked: tier 2

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell is the ‘go to firm for high-net-worth individuals’ and primarily acts for wealthy private clients purchasing and selling prime Central London property in Belgravia, Knightsbridge, St. John’s Wood and Chelsea. The team provides ‘brilliant customer service coupled with first-class legal advice’ and is recommended by clients for ‘lease enfranchisement, technical residential landlord and tenant advice and conveyancing’. Practice head Hema Anand is a ‘skilled lawyer and extremely personable’ while senior partner John Stephenson is ‘outstanding in terms of technical knowledge and energy’. The team works alongside the firm’s private wealth department and collaboratively advises on tax efficiency and the structuring of property transactions.

[back to top]

London: Transport

Rail
Rail - ranked: tier 3

Bircham Dyson Bell

Bircham Dyson Bell’s team is instructed on the planning and authorisation of rail projects, and has several parliamentary agents to advise on the promotion and opposition of railway bills. It is advising TfL on the authorisation Crossrail 2, which includes matters regarding environmental assessment and public consultation; advised TfL in obtaining the necessary consents to build and operate the extension of the London Overground network to Barking Riverside; and is advising TfL on the extension to the Bakerloo Line and the Holborn station upgrade. The team is also advising Transport for Wales on its ownership and the operation of the Core Valley Lines to be converted into a light rail operation. It also advises a wide range of parties affected by HS2 Phase Two. Nick Evans advises on the authorisation of major economic infrastructure projects and Sarah Clark specialises in infrastructure planning. Tom Henderson and Mark Challis are also recommended. Angus Walker heads the team.

[back to top]


Legal Developments by:
Bircham Dyson Bell

  • Opposing lease renewal proceedings on the ground of redevelopment

    Redevelopment is (alongside the ground of owner occupation) perhaps the most common of the bases upon which a landlord might seek to deny a tenant’s entitlement to a new lease of business premises. The following serve as some useful points to remember when a landlord seeks to rely upon the ground of redevelopment for denying a tenant a new lease of business premises.
    - Bircham Dyson Bell LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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