The Legal 500

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706968 LEEDS

Yorkshire and the Humber

Transport - ranked: tier 3

Weightmans (Leeds)

The ‘superb’ transport team at Weightmans advises hauliers, bus and coach companies, and operators of licensed commercial vehicles and has ‘big-firm clout to back up the service it provides’. Led by Gary Hodgson, the practice also represents transport clients in public inquiries. Recent highlights include representing a client in an investigation into fake drivers’ records, which is likely to go before the Traffic Commissioner. Day-to-day work includes regulatory matters stemming from operator license applications and procedures for variations of licenses, as well as compliance around DVSA regulations. The firm’s client list includes bus and coach operators First, National Express and Arriva, as well as road haulage client Brit European. The ‘bright, unflappable and fearless’ Rebecca Stanton also comes highly recommended, particularly for appeals.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire
Corporate and commercial: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 6

Weightmans (Leeds)

Michele Mathers leads Weightmans’ team, which is able to draw on the resources of the firm’s Manchester office, and corporate and commercial head Paul Raftery in particular. The team is best known for its corporate advisory and transactional work, and assisting with high-value commercial contracts, and is a popular choice for owner-managed businesses, mid-to-large corporates, and public authorities. The group handled several matters for Real Life Options, including advising on the purchase of a charity for autism, assisting with constitutional and regulatory matters, and advising on a high-value IT contract. Other highlights include handling a corporate restructuring for software company BJSS, which involved a share reclassification, new share rights and options, and advising on bonus scheme and constitutional arrangements for UK and US employees and shareholders.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 4

Weightmans (Leeds)

Ben Daniel leads the employment practice at Weightmans, which has a strong focus on handling employment issues for its transport-sector clients, including FirstGroup and National Express. Daniel brings 20 years of experience in the heavily unionised transportation sector, handling industrial disputes and Employment Tribunals. He also has expertise in employment matters concerning local authorities and NHS trusts. In a key highlight, Daniel led the team advising Hoyer Petrolog UK on the outsourcing of BP’s fuel distribution to the client, which involved TUPE transfer issues. Associates Nick Newman and Susan Matthews are also recommended.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 2

Weightmans (Leeds)

Weightmans’ health and safety practice is ‘much sought after, and justifiably so; the firm rapidly gets to the heart of the problem in hand, and identifies the right way forward’. David Lewis heads the firm’s national regulatory practice from the Leeds office and is singled out for providing ‘client care and a commitment to careful analysis that is second to none; he is further distinguished by his ability to resolve cases in a practical manner, thus freeing clients to pursue their commercial strategies’. The practice handles the full range of health and safety matters for public, commercial, charitable and insurance clients, which can also draw on the firm’s niche environmental and business crime teams where necessary. In a key matter, Lewis represented East Riding District Council at an inquest following the death of a motorcyclist whose family alleged that the accident occurred as a result of poor street lighting and an inappropriate approach to parking restrictions in the area.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Insurance

Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 2

Weightmans (Leeds)

Clients of the personal injury practice at Weightmans single out its diligent approach: ‘every case is fully investigated, researched and advised upon, leading to a formidable success rate’. The firm has strengthened the foothold it established in the region through its merger with Ford & Warren in 2015 by recruiting local government specialist Helen Brown from Langleys Solicitors LLP in November 2016. Practice head Blaise Smith has particular expertise in head and spinal injury claims, regularly handling claims exceeding £3m; his recent work includes defending Ageas in a claim involving a very severe brain injury arising from a road traffic accident, which reached the Court of Appeal over the apportionment of liability between a parked car, an overtaking vehicle and an oncoming motorcyclist. Other key figures in Leeds include Iain Davison, who is ‘held in high regard by his insurer clients, by other solicitors and by the Bar’ and who is a specialist in insurance fraud matters.

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Yorkshire and the Humber: Real estate

Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
Commercial property: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire - ranked: tier 5

Weightmans (Leeds)

At Weightmans, ‘advice is always concise and provided with a commercial reality reflecting industry knowledge’. Highly regarded team head Mark Crabtree specialises in advising leisure industry clients; he recently advised longstanding client Punch Taverns on converting several pubs into convenience stores, which involved handling lease agreement and warranties matters. Other work included assisting Enfield Council with the purchase of multiple properties subject to compulsory purchase orders, and advising Newham Council on replenishing its housing stocks. James Sargent, who joined from DLA Piper UK LLP in 2016, is experienced in handling development and investment work, acquisitions, disposals and landlord and tenant matters.

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Planning - ranked: tier 2

Weightmans (Leeds)

Weightmans has ‘an exceptionally well organised, strong regional team’, which is led by Lee Gordon, who has ‘great strategic vision and does everything to a high standard’. The team advises on major residential and urban extension projects, CPOs, and planning issues related to energy and infrastructure matters. The team recently advised Charnwood Borough Council on the North East Leicester Sustainable Urban Extension project, a development that will see 4,500 properties built over a 15 year period. Gordon, along with David Mathias, represented a nationwide logistics company in a judicial review challenge against Peterborough City Council’s decision to grant planning permission that would impact the client’s network.

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Further information on Weightmans LLP

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

East Midlands

Offices in Leicester


Offices in London EC4A, London EX3A, and London EC1M

North West

Offices in Liverpool, Manchester M2, Manchester M1, and Knutsford


Offices in Glasgow

South East

Offices in Dartford

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Leeds

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