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Birketts LLP

Work 01603 232300
Fax 01603 230533

Erika Clarke

Work 01603 756525
Birketts LLP

Work Department

Charities, Education, Health


Legal Director


Erika joined Birketts in 2008 and is a commercial lawyer with a particular specialism in public procurement, major projects (including accommodation based PPPs and ICT procurements), outsourcings, joint ventures and significant commercial contracts across a range of sectors. She has acted for central government departments and agencies, regional development agencies, commissioners and providers in the NHS (including PCTs, acute trusts, mental health trusts and primary care providers), local authorities, HE and FE institutions and schools. Erika has also acted for private sector and third sector consortia bidding for major projects.


Erika has spoken at conferences in the UK and Europe on procurement law and social infrastructure PPP projects. In the past she has been a member of the council of a University in the Eastern region and was seconded to the in-house team of a major energy company.

East Anglia: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Norwich

Within: Corporate and commercial: Norwich

Birketts LLP is ‘a high-performing and respected law firm’ that provides ‘first-class service; the very professional, solid team is quick to assist and thorough in its advice’. The team is led by Adrian Possener, who is singled out as a ‘very clear thinker’, and includes partner Greg Allan, who is viewed as ‘pragmatic and skilful in dealing with the complexities of any issue’. Also recommended are senior associate Paul Palik, who is ‘very supportive and goes the extra mile for clients’, and solicitor Nikki Reid, who is ‘a real asset to the firm – excellent to work with, efficient and knowledgeable’. Clients also pick out legal directors Ed Savory for his franchising expertise and Erika Clarke for her knowledge of the public and not-for-profit sectors. The firm recruited associate Vicki Mitman, formerly of Leathes Prior and currently affiliate forum chair of the British Franchise Association, augmenting its strength in brand protection and franchising. Highlights included advising Palletforce on its strategic acquisition of QTR Transport Ltd, and assisting international oil engineering group Derrick Services with a disposal involving complex cross-border matters. The firm also acted for Woodforde’s Brewery on its sale, and advised an educational institution on its proposed merger.

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EU and competition

Within: EU and competition

Birketts LLP’s Norwich office has a strong focus on commercial matters involving international transactions with a Dutch element. Consultant Andrew Wood, who is part of the firm’s corporate and commercial team, was recently appointed as the new Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of the Netherlands for Norwich. Legal director Erika Clarke has a strong practice in public procurement matters. In Ipswich, associate Philippa Dyer handles competition law and dawn raids. 2016 highlights included acting for a well-known commercial equipment manufacturer on EU regulations governing the energy efficiency of its products in order to ensure compliance with legislation ahead of their launch. The team also acted for a charity that applied for EU funding to deliver new projects.

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East Anglia: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Leading individuals

Erika Clarke - Birketts LLP

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

The service from Birketts LLP is ‘genuinely excellent, prompt and well informed’. The specialist charities and social enterprise team has ‘superb expert knowledge’ and works cross-office, bringing together capabilities from practices such as employment, property, corporate and dispute resolution. Team head and senior associate Sara Sayer is ‘first rate – clever, knowledgeable and personable’. Legal director Erika Clarke has ‘in-depth knowledge of the charity sector and a sensible approach’. Clients also pick out agricultural specialist and legal director Stuart Jones; ecclesiastical law specialist James Hall, who works as a diocesan registrar and ‘has extensive knowledge of church law’; and senior corporate associate Liz Brownsell, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP and who ‘has in-depth knowledge of charity law’. Senior associate Clare Hedges is recommended for employment and immigration matters. The team acted for a health and hospice charity on transactions involving the acquisition of leasehold properties for charity shops and the development of a new site for a purpose-built hospice. Its long list of clients includes the Diocese of Norwich, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, East Anglia Children’s Hospice and the London Diocesan Fund.

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East Anglia: Public sector


Within: Education

The service from Birketts LLP is ‘very good and extremely reliable, particularly on property issues’. The team, which is led by Abigail Trencher (who counts several Cambridge University colleges among her clients) features a number of experienced charities practitioners, including legal director and corporate specialist Erika Clarke, senior associate Sara Sayer, who focuses on disputes, and employment partner Tim Tyndall. Charity law specialist and senior associate Liz Brownsell, who joined from Blake Morgan LLP, brings additional strength in academy conversion matters. Tyndall and immigration-focused senior associate Clare Hedges advised a Cambridge University college on a termination of employment and fellowship matter involving complex aspects of employment law and college statutes. Sayer acted for Ipswich School on contentious and regulatory issues including a formal challenge to an exam board decision. Employment associate Tom Sharpe acted for Sapienta Education Trust in a tribunal claim brought by a former employee who alleged unfair dismissal for whistleblowing. The firm also advises education clients on property matters and construction partner Andrew Rush acted for Seevic College on its purchase of a bespoke modular building for teaching purposes.

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