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Ward Hadaway

Work 0191 204 4000
Fax 0191 204 4001
Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne

Colin Hewitt

Work +44 (0)191 204 4226
Ward Hadaway

Work Department



Partner, Head of Commercial Law


Colin is head of the Company Commercial Team at Ward Hadaway.

He leads a large multi-disciplinary team of lawyers across the firm's office network advising on company law, contract law, competition law, charity law,  intellectual property, IT and public sector issues.

Colin has advised a wide range of companies and public bodies on company, corporate and partnership law as well as directors duties and  governance, trading structures and commercial agreements for 30 years.

Colin also heads the firm’s team which undertakes a range of initiatives supporting new and fast growing businesses.

As a Legal 500 2016 leading individual, Colin is widely recognised as an expert in corporate governance issues, the structuring of large-scale projects and the setting up and organisation of incorporated and unincorporated structures, with a particular focus on joint ventures, and public/private partnerships.

His experience in relation to corporate structures, the associated agreements, corporate governance and directors’ duties is complemented by his expertise in dealing with shareholder, partnership and LLP disputes where he has advised on a number of high profile multi-million pound disputes.

Colin also has particular experience in the energy sector and is a director of the industry body NOF Energy Limited.

North: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Newcastle

Within: Leading individuals

Colin Hewitt - Ward Hadaway

Within: Corporate and commercial: Newcastle

The ‘very good’ team at Ward Hadaway ‘provides a superb service’ and ‘focuses on getting the right result for the client’. On the transactional front the practice handles a wide range of corporate transactions and MBOs alongside venture capital and private equity work, while the commercial group led by Colin Hewitt advises on director duties and governance matters, trading structures and commercial agreements. He works closely with the ‘pragmatic and client-focused’ Damien Charlton, who is noted for his strength in handling outsourcing and other long-term commercial contracts. In the corporate space, practice head Martin Hulls acted for the HMC Group in selling Helen McArdle Care to HC-One, comprising a portfolio of 20 care homes, while Katherine Hay-Heddle advised the shareholders of the software company Kykloud on the sale of US-based Accruent, and Tom Pollard assisted the Bannatyne Group with five corporate acquisitions. Other clients include private equity investor Total Capital Partners, the Business Growth Fund and Nissan.

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North: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Ward Hadaway acts for an extensive roster of registered and exempt charities as well as social enterprises including Alnwick Garden Trust, County Durham Community Foundation, Newcastle Rugby Foundation and the Land Trust. Much of the team’s work pertains to governance, trading, fundraising and restructuring issues, while various other matters are dealt with in co-operation with the relevant department. In recent work, IP team head Alex Shiel advised Changing Lives on various charity and governance matters alongside employment and property issues, and assisted Newcastle University with charity law, commercial and IP issues. Vindolanda Trust retained the team to advise on a grant of approximately £1.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to expand the client’s existing museum at the ancient Roman fort. The practice is jointly led by Colin Hewitt and Fiona Wharton and also includes consultant Gaynor Jackson.

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North: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Energy

Ward Hadaway draws on expertise from its commercial, property, construction and corporate teams to advise on the full spectrum of energy sector matters. Regular instructions include issues pertaining to fossil fuel, renewable energy, low carbon supply chains, utilities, offshore production and energy technologies. Clients include developers, investors, major multinational organisations and national businesses, for which it handles project development matters - with particular focus on anaerobic digestion, biomass and energy-from-waste projects - alongside offshore supply chain and mining sector issues. Consultant Mark Whitehead leads the team, which includes Tim Care, who is experienced in assisting public sector clients with generation and efficiency projects as well as energy procurement; Phil Tompkins, who is the main contact for power transmission and distribution matters; and commercial team head Colin Hewitt, who focuses on biofuels and biomass projects as well as oil and gas sector supply chains and carbon trading matters. Actuant Corporation is a client.

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North: Real estate


Within: Environment

Ward Hadaway handles environmental and waste management issues alongside transactional and development instructions concerning opencast, quarry and landfill operations as well as energy-from-waste and effluent treatment works. Recently, the team advised a client on the restoration of a former colliery site by the use of inert waste as infill. ‘Very good’ team head Neil Robson, who is also rated as being ‘calm and good with clients’, acts for various public and private sector clients including waste contractors John Warren (Animal By-Products) and Emerald Biogas, as well as Northumberland National Park and various housebuilders. Other key individuals include head of licensing and regulation Stephen Graham, who handles environmental litigation alongside health and safety and regulatory compliance mandates, planning expert Robin Atkin and commercial partner Colin Hewitt.

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Social housing

Within: Social housing

Ward Hadaway’s broad expertise covers advice on property, employment and housing management matters, as well as regulatory and debt recovery issues and banking and corporate structures. Helen O’Neill assisted Inclusion Housing with five projects with Civitas Social Housing, a real estate investment trust dedicated to investing in social homes in England and Wales, which included various transactions and leases. Byker Community Trust instructed the team to assist with construction and procurement issues pertaining to the district heating system serving the grade II listed Byker estate. Other clients include the Home Group, livin Housing and the Mosscare St Vincent’s Housing Group. Leeds-based John Murray heads the team, which also includes Julia Thomson and Colin Hewitt.

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North: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms

Within: IT and telecoms

Ward Hadaway’s clients include IT providers and developers alongside public and private sector customers. Judy Baker assisted Newcastle International Airport with contract negotiations for the supply, support and maintenance of airport check-in systems and self-service check-in kiosks, and advised Bannatyne Fitness on a contract with Navarino Services with regards to the client’s hotel booking system. In other work, she advised a national retailer on website compliance issues, and assisted a software house with liability provisions pertaining to the public procurement for IT software and services. Team head Alex Shiel advised a major port operator on a contract for the implementation of a new automated gate entry system. Colin Hewitt, Phil Tompkins, IT disputes expert Tim Toomey and Dean Murray are other names to note.

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