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Gowling WLG

TWO SNOWHILL, BIRMINGHAM, B4 6WR, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 0370 903 1000
Fax:
Fax 0370 904 1099
Email:
Web:
www.gowlingwlg.com

West Midlands

Transport
Transport - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's offering in transport is primarily focused on the railway sector, specifically on matters such as new station developments, commercial contracts, employment and pensions. Giles Clifford leads the team and has extensive experience in the railway sector. Recent work highlights of his include: advising the London Borough of Barnet on closing its rail freight facilities and establishing a new rail freight facility and station, and working with Transport for London on the potential development of office space above London Underground lines at 1-14 Liverpool Street. Other notable names include: Richard Green, who is an expert in advising on new station developments; Dominic Richardson, who often advises on rail-related development schemes; real estate specialist Michael Hallowell and consultant Michael Whitehouse, who regularly assists with UK rail projects. Also recommended is principal associate James Barr, who has worked on IT outsourcing projects in the aviation sector.

Next generation lawyers

James Barr - Gowling WLG

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West Midlands: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Birmingham
Corporate and commercial: Birmingham - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is ‘excellent – very responsive, commercial and client focused’. Chris Towle advised Lloyds Development Capital on on its sale of a majority stake in Forest Holidays to Phoenix Equity Partners, which was structured as a sale of the entire company followed by an investment in a new holding company – he also advised HEREF Farnborough on the sale of the company to Frasers Property International. David Lowe (who clients single out for his ‘expertise and client focus’) and Robert Breedon advised Kraft Heinz on re-aquiring several brands (inter alia, Kraft ketchup) which were licensed to Mondelez in parts of Europe. In the energy space, Stuart Young advised the owners of Opus Energy on selling the company to Drax Developments for over £340m. Jeremy Millington  advised Rigby Group on its purchase of Bournemouth Airport from Manchester Airport Group. Another M&A name of note is Baljit Chohan, who has ‘great expertise, commitment and client management skills’. Commercial contract deals of note include Sally Mewies’ advice to Argos on a partnership with eBay for click-and-collect purchases. Principal associate Caroline McNally ‘combines excellent technical skills, strong commercial awareness and real client focus’.

Leading individuals

Jeremy Millington - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Caroline McNally - Gowling WLG

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Corporate tax
Corporate tax - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's tax practice regularly handles deals with real estate elements. Lee Nuttall advised GCP Student Living on the tax elements of the financing and purchase of a site in Brighton, and assisted HSBC Alternative Investments with the purchase of Brindleyplace Properties. Other highlights included advising the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of the Province of Ontario on the tax aspects of its investment in Red Funnel. Directors Zoe Fatchen and Chris Nyland  are also key contacts. Other clients include a joint venture of St Modwen Properties and Vinci Construction, which it advised on the sale of the Nine Elms Square site to Dalian Wanda, which necessitated cross-border work with mainland China.

Leading individuals

Lee Nuttall - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Chris Nyland - Gowling WLG

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West Midlands: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation
Banking litigation - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is ‘responsive, with very good asset finance industry knowledge in particular’. Clark Sargent and senior associate Katie Malloy (who ‘provides sound advice and is very diligent’) are representing PEAC in several cases against schools which leased printing equipment but subsequently sought to void the leases as ultra vires on public law grounds. Ian Weatherall  and senior associate Turon Miah acted for Home Retail Group Card Services in a large volume of PPI cases concerning Argos-branded store cards.

Next generation lawyers

Katie Malloy - Gowling WLG

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Commercial litigation: Birmingham
Commercial litigation: Birmingham - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is highly active in cases involving heavyweight allegations of fraud. ‘Brilliant all-round litigator’ Andrew Smith and Samantha Holland successfully defended CPC Group, a company connected to the Candy brothers, in a high-profile case brought by a real estate investor and his investment vehicle Hotblack, which alleged a conspiracy to take control of a property development company via, inter alia, fraud, blackmail and duress; the claimant was found have lied to the court. Clark Sargent and director Emma Carr acted for the London Legacy Development Corporation in a dispute with West Ham United concerning, among other issues, the number of seats it is permitted to use in the London Stadium. Andrew Nugent Smith and senior associate Sean Adams represented a high-net-worth individual in defending proceedings concerning the ownership of a Ferrari 250 GTO and a McLaren F1, in which the claimants alleged that the cars worth were purchased using proceeds of fraud; he also defended JD Classics and the company’s founder against claims of fraud and mis-selling of classic cars. Andrew Manning-Cox, who handles partnership disputes, and senior associate Elsie Blackshaw represented Amec Foster Wheeler in litigation brought by various construction workers included in The Consulting Association’s blacklist. Tom Price, who heads the firm’s CEE and CIS desk, handles joint venture disputes subject to arbitration, while Patrick Arben  also handles data risk matters.

Leading individuals

Andrew Manning-Cox - Gowling WLG

Andrew Smith - Gowling WLG

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG handles a range of work in the debt recovery space, much of it cross-border. Andrew Nugent Smith and Ian Weatherall are key partners in the team, with principal associate Turon Miah also a name of note. Royal Bank of Canada is a client, as is American Express. Greg Standing has retired.

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West Midlands: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is, for many, ‘excellent on all counts – the firm involves the required specialists, turns things round quickly and is always available to support’. Chris Brierley  advised Nuvias Group on a £30m cross-border refinancing, and assisted Sanctuary Housing Association with a new £75m revolving facility and note purchase agreement with MUFG. Director Navin Prabhakar (‘extremely responsive, friendly and approachable, with strong in-depth knowledge’) acted with associate Richard Crawley and firm’s London office for Mobeus Equity Partners as sponsor of the management buyout of Arc Specialised Engineering. Nicholas Iliff has project finance expertise. The firm also acts for HSBC, among other major banks.

Next generation lawyers

Navin Prabhakar - Gowling WLG

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG acts for a range of liquidators and administrators in addition to handling restructuring work. Jasvir Jootla advised Export Development Canada on the restructuring of a British energy company and, working with the firm’s litigation team, advised Griffins Insolvency as liquidators of Vertu. Ian Weatherall advised Bibby Financial Services on the sale of the assets of Blue Chip Sales and Marketing from administration. Other clients include Grant Thornton and several banks.

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West Midlands: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

The 'commercial' practice at Gowling WLG  works for clients such as Jacobs, Cathay Pacific and the London Borough of Croydon. Practice head Jane Fielding  provides 'thorough and thoughtful consideration of complex issues'.  Martin Chitty  predominantly acts for housing associations and retailers, and recently acted for Spire Production Services on a claim from a competitor that the client failed to comply with TUPE regulations. Also recommended are Jonathan Chamberlain, who focuses on the life sciences, technology, manufacturing and financial services sectors; director Louise Clifford, who is 'very strong at creating relationships' and provides 'concise and clear pragmatic advice'; and director Anna Fletcher, who specialises in working time and national minimum wage compliance issues.

Leading individuals

Martin Chitty - Gowling WLG

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

The 'excellent' Gowling WLG  is led by Andrew Litchfield who has extensive experience in regulatory investigations and is 'pragmatic', 'highly knowledgeable' and 'quick to respond'. Principal associate Michael Hafen is an expert in advising on investigations into fatal injuries. Principal associate Natalie Barton-Howes is also experienced in fatal accident investigations.  Susan Dearden joined Finch Consulting.

Next generation lawyers

Michael Hafen - Gowling WLG

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG provides a ‘first rate’ and ‘pro-active’ service, with a client roster that includes pension schemes for Weetabix, Pirelli UK and Fujitsu UK and Ireland. Glyn Ryland heads the practice and is an expert in pensions investment law and funding negotiations. Richard Black has ‘broad experience of all pension issues' and provides 'pragmatic', 'clear' and 'cost-effective' advice. Paul Feathers is an investment and buyout specialist with ‘an unrivalled experience in those areas’. Suzannah White  has ‘knowledge on all matters affecting defined benefit schemes’, while Paul Craberry is ‘technically very capable’ and ‘able to translate complex issues into something the lay trustees can understand’.  Other notable names include: director Christopher Stiles, who is an expert in contentious and non-contentious matters; and Richard Lee, who is an expert in employment and pensions law. Liz Gane was promoted to partner in 2017 and is an expert in pension scheme mergers and closures, as well as corporate re-organisations.

Leading individuals

Glyn Ryland - Gowling WLG

Richard Black - Gowling WLG

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West Midlands: Insurance

Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG 's  work on professional negligence is particularly strong in the commercial and construction sectors. Commercial litigator Andrew Nugent Smith  regularly works on negligence claims and is particularly active in the automotive sector. Other key figures include construction disputes specialist Ashley Piggot  and landlord and tenant disputes expert Carole Peet . Andrew Manning Cox has joined CEDR Solve .

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West Midlands: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG handles a range of transactional, regulatory and litigation work concerning the energy and renewables arenas. Gus Wood advises “pay-as-you-go” energy supplier Avid Energy on its entry to the British market. In the contentious space, Daniel Wood represented E.ON in a €26.3m construction dispute against MT Højgaard concerning the foundations of sixty turbines on the 175MW Robin Rigg offshore wind farm – the matter concluded with a Supreme Court judgment in August 2017. Competition highlights included John Cooper advising the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation in several Competition and Markets Authority regulatory appeals. Other clients include the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Cooper advises on the smart meter programme. Derek Goodban heads the practice.

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Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG ‘provides an overall very good level of service’; ‘the team is motivated to seek out solutions and explains issues clearly’. Stephen Kenny, who also has road procurement expertise, advised the South London Waste Partnership, which comprises four boroughs, on procuring waste services (including a 26MW waste-to-energy element) from Veolia, while Giles Clifford advised Transport for London on procuring improvements to Finsbury Park station, allowing for step-free access. Director Dominic Richardson (‘particularly quick to get to grips with the issues at hand’) advised China Rail Rolling Stock Corporation on a contract with Transport for London to provide maintenance wagons, and acted for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council on terminating a leisure PFI contract.

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West Midlands: Public sector

Health
Health - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s key strengths in this field lie in transactional and contractual matters, with a number of NHS trusts among its client base. Practice head Robert Breedon advised Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust on the sale of two medium secure units to its subsidiary Summerhill Services. He also assisted NHS Mansfield and Ashfield CCG and NHS Newark and Sherwood CCG with their health and care alliance, as well as Lakeside Healthcare on its merger with six other GP practices. Other key figures include: structured finance specialist Jon Lent; real estate expert Christine Jackson;  Andrew Litchfield, who focuses on regulatory work; and transactions specialist Michael Lacey.

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West Midlands: Real estate

Commercial property: Birmingham
Commercial property: Birmingham - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG handles a range of work, with a particular strength in the residential space. Susan Bennett and director Matthew Walker continue to advise Ballymore on the development funding from M&G Real Estate for Three Snowhill. Duncan Murphy and principal associate Simon Brown advised Clarion Housing Group on its purchase of 603 residential units as part of the development of AFC Wimbledon’s new stadium. Michael Twining and senior associate Paul Lloyd advised HSBC Alternative Investments on purchasing Brindleyplace for £260m, which involved purchasing shares in six Luxembourgish companies. Nisha Jassal heads a team advising advising The Arden Cross Consortium on a planned urban development in Solihull near the proposed Birmingham Interchange HS2 station. John Burns, who divides his time between London and Birmingham, and Susan Bennett  handle heavyweight logistics deals. Other clients include Blackstone, which Twining advised on the sale of the Hilton Hotel Westminster to Westmont Hospitality Group, and Warwickshire County Cricket Club. Richard Bate, who is based in Birmingham, heads the firm’s UK real estate practice.

Leading individuals

John Burns - Gowling WLG

Richard Bate - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Matthew Walker - Gowling WLG

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG handles heavyweight construction disputes, as well as transactional work involving major projects. In the construction disputes arena, Ashley Pigott and principal associate Sarah Dyer are key contacts for litigation and arbitration concerning a range of buildings and infrastructure developments. Michael O’Shea is another name of note for contentious work, as is Daniel Wood, who represented E.ON in a dispute concerning the inclusion of technical standards as terms in contracts, as applied to defective foundations of sixty wind turbines in the Robin Rigg offshore site in the Solway Firth, which reached the Supreme Court. On the non-contentious front, Richard Green and principal associate Gemma Whittaker continue to advise Aston Martin Lagonda on its project to convert the former MoD St Athan site into a factory to build the Aston Martin DBX. Other clients include Roxhill Developments, which Green and Mark Stephenson advised on procuring the construction of a new, 200,000 sq m, warehouse in Tilbury to be let to Amazon.

Leading individuals

Ashley Pigott - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Gemma Whittaker - Gowling WLG

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Environment
Environment - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's  Lee McBride provides advice concerning remediation work prior to developments, including treatment work required to particularly challenging former industrial sties before conversion into housing. Andrew Lichfield handles contentious regulatory work, such as Environmental Agency prosecutions and litigation against subcontractors running in tandem. Clients include significant names in sectors such as natural resources, construction materials, food and real estate.

Leading individuals

Andrew Lichfield - Gowling WLG

Lee McBride - Gowling WLG

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Planning
Planning - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is a ‘highly motivated and well-run practice in which clients have a great deal of trust and faith’. Andrew Thomas (‘a great strategist’) and director Toni Weston continue to advise Goodman Real Estate on securing a development consent order for a real freight interchange near Derby – the pair also advised the North Whiteley Consortium (which includes Taylor Wimpey and Bovis) on a planning application for 3,500 new homes near Winchester. Directors Graham Wrigglesworth (‘excellent for detail’) and Thomas are advising the London Borough of Barnet on planning aspects of the Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme. Other clients include Copeland Borough Council, which it advises on planning issues concerning nuclear decommissioning and proposals for a geological disposal facility. Cairo Nickolls is a key senior associate. Vicky Fowler is now based in the firm’s Dubai office.

Leading individuals

Andrew Thomas - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Toni Weston - Gowling WLG

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG's  Carole Peet continues to represent Persimmon Homes in litigation against Ashfield Provincial Properties concerning a failed joint venture to develop strategic land outside Bristol, and also acted for Crossrail in a settle claim brought by AG Thames Holdings for alleged negligent misstatement concerning land that could be affected by future upgrades to the eponymous railway. Other clients include Metropolitan Housing Trust, Bloor Homes, and CFNX, which owns the Custard Factory. Rob Bridgman is a key senior associate. Paul Kent has retired.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 3

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG handles a range of transactional real estate and corporate finance work for housing clients. Jacqueline Knox, who heads the practice, advised Sanctuary Housing Association on land acquisitions for three new care homes and subsequent development work. Richard Beckingsale, who divides his time between London and Birmingham, advised Home Group Limited on the regeneration plan for the South Oxhey housing estate. In the financing space, Chris Brierley advised Sanctuary Housing Association on a £75m revolving credit facility and note purchase agreement with MUFG – other clients include banks lending to housing associations. ‘Outstanding’ director Sally Farrall also handles key development work.

Leading individuals

Jacqueline Knox - Gowling WLG

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West Midlands: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

The ‘commercial’, ‘practical’ and ‘helpful’ Gowling WLG has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious work in this space, with a strong emphasis on areas such as cloud computing, e-commerce, data protection and privacy. Sally Mewies heads the practice and is highly skilled in advising on technology contracts. She recently assisted Flybe on its contract with Amadeus IT regarding mission critical passenger services systems services. She is supported by Director Richard Smith , who is experienced in handling outsourcing and commercial arrangements. Commercial litigator Patrick Arben has notable expertise in outsourcing and IT disputes, whereas Sarah Sasse focuses on non-contentious matters pertaining to IT and outsourcing. Director Helen Davenport is also an expert in contentious issues in this sector, with experience in both litigation and ADR. Corporate partners Balijit Chohan and David Brennan also work on technology-related matters.

Leading individuals

Sally Mewies  - Gowling WLG

Next generation lawyers

Richard Smith - Gowling WLG

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s broad IP practice is ‘very efficient’ and ‘practical’, with clients that includes Fujifilm and GSK. Birmingham-based Pat Duxbury  is an expert in life sciences matters, particularly on transactional work. Luke Kempton similarly focuses on life sciences, with expertise in both patent litigation and transactional matters. Soft IP specialist Kate Swaine advised Weetabix on trade mark, copyright and design right matters, and also advised iCandy on alleged infringement from BabyStyle, regarding the design of a pushchair.

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Sport
Sport - ranked: tier 2

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG  focuses on contentious, regulatory, sponsorship, marketing and media transactions. James Gordon  leads the team and is known for his work on motorsports-related disputes. Commercial disputes expert Andrew Nugent Smith also works on sports-related matters.

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Further information on Gowling WLG

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

United Arab Emirates

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Canada

Offices in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Hamilton, and Kitchener

France

Offices in Paris

London

Offices in London SE1 and London EC2N

Monaco

Offices in Monaco

Russia

Offices in Moscow and Moscow

West Midlands

Offices in Birmingham

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