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Blake Morgan LLP

ONE CENTRAL SQUARE, CARDIFF, CF10 1FS, WALES
Tel:
Work 029 2068 6000
Fax:
Fax 029 2068 6380
DX:
33014 CARDIFF
Email:
Web:
www.blakemorgan.co.uk

Wales

Public sector
Public sector - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Praised for its 'supreme level of knowledge', Blake Morgan LLP 's cross-disciplinary 21-partner team has deeply entrenched public sector relationships and as well as handling practice specific work affecting those entities (including as they relate to corporate, real estate and commercial work), the team is also recognised as a 'market leader' for pure public law matters including Welsh constitutional law issues, where the 'vastly experienced'Emyr Lewis  is a leading light. Team head Eve Piffaretti 'has extensive knowledge and understanding' of health care law and the regulatory issues impacting on the healthcare sector, advising UK-based entities across a range of matters including on judicial reviews, fitness to practice, freedom of information, and human rights and equality issues. Employment law experts Paula Kathrens and Matthew Smith are also noted for their expertise within the healthcare sector, particularly in relation to handling the disciplining and dismissal of doctors under the NHS Wales disciplinary procedure. The 'very knowledgeable' Simon McCann has vast experience at handling procurement matters where he is admired for his 'can-do attitude'; he recently advised the Welsh government on the procurement of fisheries enforcement vessels and is acting for Transport for Wales in relation to the procurement of South Wales Metro and Wales and Borders rail franchises. LitigatorAllan Wilson is noted for his 'excellent work' on behalf of public sector clients, both in relation to judicial review and procurement challenges. 'Very down-to-earth and effective' senior associate Kevin Manship has a strong reputation handling judicial review work. Former head Christopher Williams joined Geldards LLP in December 2017. Clients include Cardiff University, Newport City Council, Welsh Government and NHS England.

Leading individuals

Allan Wilson - Blake Morgan LLP

Emyr Lewis - Blake Morgan LLP

Eve Piffaretti - Blake Morgan LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kevin Manship - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and commercial: Cardiff and South Wales
Corporate and commercial: Cardiff and South Wales - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

The ‚Äėprofessional and commercial‚Äô three-partner team at¬†Blake Morgan LLP¬† acts for private and public sector clients across the gamut of corporate and commercial matters including private equity-led and corporate M&A, AIM flotations and restructurings. Team head¬†Robert Cherry¬†recently advised LDC on its secondary buyout of Vista Technology Support Group from WestBridge Capital. Particularly ‚Äėstrong within the public sector‚Äô, the ‚Äėresponsive and knowledgeable‚Äô¬†James Williams¬†spearheads the firm‚Äôs relationship with Development Bank of Wales and recently represented it on its debt and equity investment in Voltcom Group provided by Beechbrook Capital. Williams also recently advised Symrise on its acquisition of UK fruit juice supplier Cobell International. Senior associate¬†Richard Jones¬†has a flourishing reputation in the M&A market and regularly handles new money deals as well as distressed mandates.

Leading individuals

Robert Cherry - Blake Morgan LLP

Next generation lawyers

Richard Jones - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP 's three-partner team represents an impressive roster of public and private sector clients including Clarins, University of South Wales and Milford Haven Port Authority, across a range of high-stakes litigation and has the strength-in-depth for partners and practitioners to focus on certain niche areas of expertise. For example, Allan Wilson is a leading practitioner in the field on behalf of public sector clients in judicial review and public procurement challenges. Wilson recently represented seven Welsh Health Boards on proceedings brought against them by a number of care home providers challenging payments made to them for Funded Nursing Care. Team head Lee Fisher handles a diverse array of high-value litigation for private sector clients and recently acted for the majority shareholders of a renewable energy company in relation to unfair prejudice proceedings brought by a minority shareholder. Fisher also excels in high-stakes matters requiring urgent injunctive relief to be secured on behalf of clients. 'Very down-to-earth' senior associate Kevin Manship has a 'particular strength in the niche area of commercial agency litigation'. Other recommended associates include Joanne Thompson, for procurement challenges, and Sarah Whittle , for judicial reviews involving complex health care issues.

Leading individuals

Allan Wilson - Blake Morgan LLP

Lee Fisher - Blake Morgan LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kevin Manship - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'first-class' team at Blake Morgan LLP displays an 'excellent level of knowledge' and provides a 'responsive service' to an impressive roster of predominantly lender-side clients, including HSBC and Santander, across the spectrum of new money financings, refinancings and regulatory issues. Despite the recent retirement of leading practitioner Meryl Morgan, the team is still imbued with a significant amount of talent including legal director Reshma Jogia and senior associate Paul Duggan, the latter who joined the team in September 2017 from Hugh James . Recent highlights include Duggan's work for Lloyds Bank on the provision of a £4m loan to a further education body to fund development of student accommodation and sports facilities and Jogia's representation of behalf of Julian Hodge Bank on a £3.65m development facility loan to a Gibraltar registered company.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'best firm in the region' for insolvency matters, Blake Morgan LLP  Cardiff 's three-strong team handles contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters for insolvency practitioners (IPs), banks, asset based lenders and debtors. Team head Paul Caldicott displays 'clear technical knowledge, coupled with a strong commercial acumen'. Caldicott is leading on a number of contentious insolvency matters including multiple misfeasance claims relating to tax avoidance schemes and defending a claim challenging the validity of a legal charge secured over a bankrupt's property worth in excess £500,000. Senior solicitor Sophia Farmer is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Paul Caldicott - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: Human resources

Employment: Cardiff
Employment: Cardiff - ranked: tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP

A ‚Äėreal regional heavyweight‚Äė, Blake Morgan LLP¬†'s employment practice ‚Äėgoes from strength-to-strength‚Äė and is ‚Äėable to present complex information concisely and clearly‚Äô,¬†excelling at handling sophisticated TUPE issues, equal pay and pensions matters for private and public sector clients.¬† Joanne Davies¬†is an ‚Äėexcellent source of information about TUPE and its implications‚Äė.¬†Paula Kathrens¬†'combines the standard employment law knowledge with tactical and relational understanding' which she employs to good effect within the education and the healthcare sector, where alongside the ‚Äėunflappable and experienced‚Äė Matthew Smith¬†she handles a raft of employment work for NHS Wales including employment¬†work related to doctor disciplinary cases. Senior associate Ian Jones¬†‚Äėdemonstrates an excellent knowledge and practical application of all areas of employee relations'. Clients include PHS Group, Swansea University and Dolce & Gabana.¬†Michael Clarke recently departed for a role at the Equality & Human Rights Commission in Cardiff.

Leading individuals

Joanne Davies - Blake Morgan LLP

Paula Kathrens - Blake Morgan LLP

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'professional but very personable' team at Blake Morgan LLP  has a strong reputation in the market for contentious matters, as well as for handling health and safety compliance and management issues on behalf of private and public sector clients. Praised for her 'excellent judgement' and 'way of addressing complex matters without them becoming a crisis', Claire Rawle handles 'a large amount of very high-quality work in health and safety, as well as institutional health care'. 'Very studious and hardworking' senior associate barrister Tom Walker has a 'clear and reassuring way of dealing with the regulators' on behalf of both individuals and corporate defendants across an array of health and safety, health and social care, and environment matters.  Robin Havard is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Claire Rawle - Blake Morgan LLP

Robin Havard - Blake Morgan LLP

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Pensions
Pensions - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP provides a 'very helpful service' to a primarily public sector-focused client base, including the Welsh government and NHS England, across the gamut of pensions issues. As well as handling discrete standalone pensions matters, the team often works in close collaboration with other practice groups throughout the firm, including recently working alongside corporate lawyers on pensions due diligence regarding PHS' M&A activity. Team head Ron Burgess has wide-ranging pensions expertise acting for an array of different stakeholders including trustees, corporate clients and insolvency practitioners. 'Excellent' associate Gillian McCue handles a range of pensions issues including regulatory compliance, corporate transactions and investment responsibilities. Other clients include Wales & West Utilities, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and University of Wales Superannuation Scheme.

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Wales: Insurance

Clinical negligence: defendant
Clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Headed by David Mortimer, Blake Morgan LLP receives a significant flow of work on behalf of the Medical Protection Society (MPS) where it represents its members in defending claims brought against them. The team also has a particular niche acting for doctors sued in their role as experts in personal injury claims, and defends claims brought against health boards in Wales when the in-house NHS team is conflicted out. At an associate level, Alison Huckle and Tina Whitman are also recommended.

Leading individuals

David Mortimer - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit
Charities and not-for-profit - ranked: tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP

Benefiting from 'strong charities sectoral knowledge' as well as being able to leverage the expertise that a market-leading full-service firm is able to provide in areas including employment, public law and property law, Blake Morgan LLP is well-equipped to provide a 'very professional and helpful service' to an impressive roster of clients including Cardiff Food Bank, Ty Hafan and National Library of Wales. James Egan 'has a broad understanding of property and tenancy matters in the sector' and regularly acts for charities with large property portfolios including Tenovus Cancer Care, which he advises on issues associated with its portfolio of 66 shops based across Wales and the South West of England, as well as its warehouses and its head office accommodation. Eve Piffaretti has 'extensive knowledge and understanding of the social care charity sector and in particular mental health issues'. Public law expert Emyr Lewis  is also regularly instructed by non-Welsh charities seeking guidance on devolved Welsh law, while Paula Kathrens regularly handles charities-related employment work and is praised for her 'tactical expertise'. Christopher Williams joined Geldards LLP in December 2017.       

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Personal tax, trusts and probate
Personal tax, trusts and probate - ranked: tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP

A spate of recent departures - including most recently that of Charlene Davies-Williams - notwithstanding, Blake Morgan LLP's two-strong team, nevertheless, remains in a relatively strong position as a result of its ability to leverage the firm’s significant corporate client base and therefore the ability to handle succession and estate planning matters for business owners and corporate executives. Clients also benefit from complementary practice areas, including litigation and tax. Senior associate Lisa Davies now heads the team following her arrival in October 2017 from Sinclairslaw and brings with her a solid base of clients as well as strong ties with professional referrers. Davies is currently involved in lifetime estate planning and will drafting for a client who has complex and high-value affairs, including a farm (for which an assessment to agricultural property relief must be made), a development property, shareholdings and property and bank accounts in Switzerland. Associate Nicky Sherrard is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Nicky Sherrard - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: Projects, energy and natural resources

Project finance and PFI
Project finance and PFI - ranked: tier 3

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP regularly handles projects-related work, usually in the context of advice on the procurement process. The 'very approachable and commercial' Simon McCann is praised for his ability 'to explain complex parts of law into an understandable way'. With assistance from 'very pragmatic' solicitor Charlotte Cheetham, McCann has led the team's work for Swansea City Council on the procurement issues associated with the city centre regeneration project.

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Wales: Real estate

Commercial property: Cardiff
Commercial property: Cardiff - ranked: tier 2

Blake Morgan LLP

Headed by Geoff Reed, Blake Morgan LLP's 'friendly and approachable' five-partner team provides an 'excellent service' to private and public sector clients including HSBC, the Welsh government, Melin Homes and Barola Property Holdings. On the private sector front, the firm's recent work for Rightacres on its joint venture with S.A.Brain and Network Rail on the Central Quay development was a major mandate for the firm and is reflective of its credibility in the market. James Egan has a 'broad understanding of property and tenancy matters in the public sector' and recently advised Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board on the procurement of the development, by a private sector developer, of a new primary care facility in Mayhill, Swansea. Nigel Griffiths has a focus on retail leasing matters and continues to handle a raft of work for Canary Wharf Group plc. The 'outstanding' Louise Howells provides 'skilful and knowledgeable' advice within the social housing sector and handles real estate work for a slew of housing associations  including Coastal Housing Group and Rhondda Housing Association. Senior associate Daniela Smith is also recommended as a result of her broad-ranging workload which includes development transactions, investment acquisitions and disposals, and retail leasing work. Philip Jardine is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Geoff Reed - Blake Morgan LLP

Nigel Griffiths - Blake Morgan LLP

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'responsive, knowledgeable and experienced' two-partner team at Blake Morgan LLP provides contentious and non-contentious expertise to public and private sector clients across a broad range of construction mandates including retail and leisure, energy, health and education projects. The 'very professional and personable' Rachel Gwilliam  has 'extensive industry knowledge' and is particularly accomplished at handling adjudication work. Gwilliam recently secured a notable victory at adjudication for United Welsh Housing Association in a claim brought against the contractor regarding latent defects to the Association's office headquarters in Caerphilly. 'Very knowledgeable in her field', Joanna Rees  handles both contentious and non-contentious matters and is appreciated by clients for her 'clear and precise advice' and 'ability to work well under pressure'. Aided by the 'responsive and knowledgeable' Simon McCann on the procurement front, Rees is advising Transport for Wales on the production of a bespoke suite of construction contracts for use in connection with the extensive rail infrastructure improvements that will be central to the new Wales and Borders rail franchise, which is due to be awarded later in 2018, and the South Wales Metro programme. Associate Kate Howell is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Joanna Rees - Blake Morgan LLP

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Property litigation
Property litigation - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Headed by Sian Jones, Blake Morgan LLP's four-strong team handles a wide range of property disputes including high-value commercial dilapidation claims and complex compulsory purchase order (CPO) compensation claims for national and Welsh clients including GVA, Rank Group, Julian Hodge Bank and South Wales Land Developments. Jones recently represented Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council on securing the forfeiture of a lease of a prominent waste management facility in Blaenau, Gwent as a result of serious breaches of environmental permits. Associate Holly Stedman is also recommended.

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Social housing
Social housing - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Led by the 'very well-known' property litigator¬†Si√Ęn Jones¬†and also able to all upon the expertise of practitioners with a focus on social housing work from across the firm's real estate, finance, employment and commercial teams, Blake Morgan LLP¬†'s 'friendly and approachable' multi-disciplinary team has an excellent reputation among many of the most significant housing associations in the country including United Welsh Housing Association and Coastal Housing Group. Jones also handles work outside of Wales including recently successfully securing civil injunctions on behalf of Waltham Forest Housing Association brought against a mixture of tenants and visitors to a block of flats. On the non-contentious front, Louise Howells¬†is 'very experienced at social housing work', particularly as it relates to regeneration and development projects; she recently acted for Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust on the acquisition of affordable housing units at Chinnor in Oxfordshire. Penri Desscan¬†is recommended for housing association-related procurement work.

Leading individuals

Si√Ęn Jones - Blake Morgan LLP

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Wales: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

Now led by Emyr Lewis following the departure of Justin Harrington in January 2018 to Geldards LLP, Blake Morgan LLP's technology and outsourcing team has broad-ranging expertise at executing complex projects in both the public and private sector. Simon McCann continues to advise Greater Manchester Police on the transformation of its IT services programme - work which has recently included advice on all aspects of the procurement, both of the strategic development partner and the various IT contractors for specific work packages. Other highlights include Penri Desscan's work for Cardiff University on the procurement of a network refresh. As well as his commercial contracts expertise in relation to the IT and e-commerce sectors, senior solicitor Jon Belcher also has niche expertise advising public sector entities on compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Blake Morgan LLP

The 'very responsive and supportive' team at Blake Morgan LLP handles a wide range of non-contentious and contentious IP work including trade mark, patent, design right and copyright disputes, as well as transactional IP issues and comparative advertising matters. Under the leadership of Lee Fisher, the team is, however, best-known for handling complex IP litigation including acting for Clarins in injunctive proceedings against Avon Cosmetics arising from a comparative advertising claim relating to the market leading Double Serum product. Fisher also recently obtained an injunction on behalf of Personal Hygiene Services in relation to its claim of breach of confidence and infringement of database rights following the departure of several employees to a competitor. Litigation associate Sarah Whittle also regularly handles contentious IP matters and assisted Fisher in the aforementioned Clarins matter. Senior partner Emyr Lewis is also noted for his work in the media sector.  Clients also benefit from the firm’s dedicated Southampton-based trade mark registration and portfolio management team.

Leading individuals

Lee Fisher - Blake Morgan LLP

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Offices in London

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Offices in Cardiff

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