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28 IMPERIAL SQUARE, CHELTENHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, GL50 1RH, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 01242 514000
Fax:
Fax 01242 519079
DX:
7420 CHELTENHAM
Email:
Web:
www.willans.co.uk

South West: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Corporate and commercial: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Exceptionally knowledgeable and extremely prompt’, Willans LLP prides itself on ‘a firm culture where excellent client service is the expectation’. Moreover, one client noted in particular the firm’s competitive pricing and approachability in relation to many of its local competitors. Headed by Paul Symes-Thompson, the corporate team has particular focus on advising manufacturers, professional practices, charities and technology companies on commercial agreements and corporate transactions. Symes-Thompson acted for Twistar in connection with proposed investments by several worldwide investors. The ‘pragmatic’ practice head also handles ongoing commercial and corporate work for a well-known national charity. Further, a team including the ‘highly respected’ employment practitioner Matthew Clayton assists Cheltenham Festivals with ongoing commercial matters. Other key clients include Frazier Properties and Medical First. Theresa Grech left the firm for Gordon Dadds LLP and Caroline Leviss took a senior associate position at Harrison Clark RickerbysChris Wills, who was hired from Murrell Associates, heads up the team. Consultant Kym Fletcher joined from a global sporting federation.

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South West: Dispute resolution

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

Willans LLP

The disputes resolution team at Willans LLP has ‘developed long-standing client relationships through an impressive combination of technical expertise and interpersonal skills’. Headed by the ‘pragmatic yet appropriately aggressivePaul Gordon, the team is most active in contract and Companies Act litigation, construction disputes, IP claims, professional negligence and property-related litigation. Acting alongside associate solicitor Nick Southwell, Gordon is representing Turbo K International and other defendants in a complex, multimillion-pound High Court dispute concerning the IP rights associated with Turbo K’s flagship product. The practice head is also advising The Juckes Partnership on a potential claim concerning losses incurred from a faulty piece of agricultural equipment. Additionally, Southwell is assisting Apollo Radiators with ongoing Insolvency Act proceedings brought against AK Ticaret. Nick Cox specialises in property-related disputes, but also has experience in professional negligence claims. Severnside Software and Crest Garden are also among the team’s recent clients. All lawyers mentioned are accredited mediators.

Leading individuals

Paul Gordon - Willans LLP

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South West: Human resources

Employment: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Employment: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 1

Willans LLP

Willans LLP has a particular focus on acting for technology and high-end engineering companies but also advises clients in the professional services, charities and not-for-profit sectors on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues including restructurings, business transfers, executive exits and protection of confidential business information. It also provides support on TUPE transfers, redundancy, collective consultations with unions and GDPR implementation issues. Recent work includes acting for Bridgeworks, a data optimisation and data transfer company, in an unfair dismissal claim by a senior sales person, and representing a director of a PR company in a dispute with a co-director. Moog Aircraft Group, PegasusLife, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Stroud District Council and Excelerate Technology.  Matthew Clayton heads the team and specialises in data issues in the context of employment law.

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South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates
Agriculture and estates - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Willans LLP's team is ‘knowledgeable and competent’, and acts for landowners and farming families, and those buying and selling country properties and estates in and around the South West, predominantly in the counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Cotswolds. Head of the team Robin Beckley is ‘very knowledgeable’, ‘sensible in his approach, highly professional and acts swiftly when required to do so’; he has considerable experience in disposing of development land by option, conditional contract, and promotion agreement. The firm holds active panel appointments for Clydesdale Bank and Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.

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Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Willans LLP delivers ‘an excellent service’ and specialises in charity property dispute resolution and acting on behalf of national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Scope. Alasdair Garbutt was promoted to partner in June 2017, and has since won the firm all of the real estate work for Shelter (after previously advising on half its real estate portfolio) as well as all real estate work for Victim Support. ‘Very prompt and effective’, Garbutt also leads the work for Marie Curie and Sue Ryder. Associate Caroline Leviss left the firm in October 2017. Nigel Whittaker heads up the department.

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Contentious trusts and probate
Contentious trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Willans LLP is ‘excellent in all aspects: almost immediate response times, with in-depth knowledge and experience’. The firm handles a number of Inheritance Act 1975 claims, led by head of team Paul Gordon, a ‘robust, yet sensible and pragmatic’ litigator. A recent highlight has been advising an Australian national looking to challenge the administration of her father’s estate; High Court proceedings have been issued and are ongoing. Senior associate Nick Southwell is recommended for dispute resolution and mediation.

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Family
Family - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Willans LLP’s family department handles complex family/matrimonial law issues, predominantly for high-net-worth individuals. Team head James Grigg handles all aspects of family law, with particular expertise in complex cases involving the financial areas of divorce and separation, and those concerning children. Senior associate Jonathan Eager focuses in Children Act matters and financial issues arising out of divorce, and works closely with Grigg. Eager also acts for parents in disputes over children involving international jurisdiction issues.

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Willans LLP delivers ‘consistently accurate advice to clients in a friendly and professional manner. ‘Straightforward and practical’ team head Simon Cook advises on trusts and estate planning, wills, elderly client issues (including powers of attorney) and Court of Protection matters. He is ‘very knowledgeable, has empathy, gets on well with others, and builds excellent long-term relationships with clients’. Ruth Baker ‘is an excellent lawyer’, who specialises in estate planning and acts for a number of high-net-worth individuals with complex estates. She has a ‘particularly strong technical approach, great attention to detail, and is always able to explain complex matters in plain English’.

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South West: Real estate

Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire
Commercial property: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire - ranked: tier 3

Willans LLP

Acting for landowners, developers, corporate occupiers and non-profits, Willans LLP is ‘extremely thorough’ and is rated for is work on ‘particularly complex real estate and construction mandates’. Department head Nigel Whittaker provides a standard of service that literally inspired one client to ‘volunteer to pay a higher rate than what was billed’. Whittaker has particular expertise in freehold and leasehold transactions and advised two Republic of Ireland-registered companies on the multimillion-pound sale of a property in Bath, subject to a lease agreement in favour of a building society. Alasdair Garbutt was promoted to partner and assisted Joedan Group with a number of office and industrial property acquisitions in 2017. Whittaker and Garbutt also provide ongoing portfolio management advice to local, regional, and national charities such as Sue Ryder. Susie Wynne is ‘a go-to partner’ for development projects, property finance and investment transactions. Wynne assisted Cavendish Homes with a land promotion agreement in relation to a site with a potential development value of £37.5m. Other key clients include Holy Trinity Brompton and Princess Alice Hospice.

Leading individuals

Nigel Whittaker - Willans LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 4

Willans LLP

In terms of of client service, Willans LLP has been rated by clients as ‘much better than the local competition’. Headed by the ‘efficient and knowledgeableNick Cox, the team focuses on commercial lease work for individuals and clients in the charity sector, though it also has experience with covenant, right of way, and boundary disputes, as well as adverse possession claims. Cox is instructed by a number of national charities, including Scope, which he and Nick Southwell represented, as claimant, in a contested lease renewal hearing. Cox is also advising The Works Business Company (Slough) on a dispute regarding substantial commercial rent arrears. The team also has experience in agricultural tenancy work.

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South West: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Willans LLP

Willans LLP advises on contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters for clients in the satellite telecommunications, flight training, heating engineering and IT. sectors Highlights include acting for Turbo K and Midland Chemicals in a cross-border High Court case which involved passing off, invalidation of registered trade marks and contractual issues related to provision and breach of IP licence agreements. Paul Gordon  heads the team and specialises in patent, trade mark, design right, copyright infringement and passing off claims. He is ‘extremely well-prepared’ and ‘able to analyse things from both a legal and a commercial perspective’. Nick Southwell  is adept at handling disputes including web-based infringement claims for copyright. Theresa Grech left the firm. Clients include Singapore Lift Company, Farquhar’s Vocabulary Flash Cards, Cheltenham Festivals, Preston Innovations and Twistar.

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